Understand Fire Hazards in Your Home
Understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them is one way you can help protect your home from the possibility of being damaged by fire.
No one likes thinking about this, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for a multitude of Americans. In this blog, we’ll discuss two of the most common household fire hazards.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, over a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 house fires per year that were started by candles. In total, candles were the cause of 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
Candles caused 2 percent of reported house fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. An average of 24 home candle fires were reported per day during those five years, with December having the highest amount of calls for home candle fires.
Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent began in the bedroom and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.
While using a lit candle, be sure it’s kept at least 12 inches away from anything that could catch fire and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep. When oxygen is used in the home, never use a candle.
If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that start in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms.
Consider fire-safe cigarettes as an option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used. Be sure to douse all cigarettes and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out and keep in mind that one out of four fatalities caused by smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. An estimated 17,200 home structure fires that were caused by smoking materials were reported in 2014, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars.
Those fires caused 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home. Did you know that some kinds of the glassware in your home could be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the magnified ray could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s best to move glass accessories away from windows and out of sunlight.
Dust bunnies also pose a fire risk if left to collect near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can keep them from building up.
Also, be aware that loose outlets in your home could spark a fire. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder has your back and is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.