House fires are often a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Fire damage can potentially destroy your home and belongings, in addition to putting the lives of you and your family at risk. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to drastically reduce the risk of your home catching fire. Here are some easy tips to help keep your home and family safe from some common causes of fire damage.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking caused 49% of fires reported in the U.S. from 2015 to 2019. Since most of us use the kitchen every day, it can be easy to forget that it contains many potential fire hazards.
- Remember to turn off the stove, oven, or any other appliance when you’re done cooking.
- Never cook while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Only use a grill outside, never inside or in a garage.
- Clean your oven regularly to prevent the buildup of grease and other food residues.
People often don’t take candles seriously as a fire hazard, because they have such a small flame. However, even a candle can cause significant fire damage if left unattended.
- Remember to blow out candles before going to bed.
- Consider using flameless candles as an alternative, which can look and smell just like the real thing.
- Keep candles at least a foot away from any flammable objects.
- Make sure your candle holder is sturdy and not easily knocked over.
- Extinguish candles before they can burn all the way down.
Smoking is dangerous for your health in a number of ways, but can also be a potential fire hazard. The NFPA lists smoking materials like cigarettes, pipes, and cigars as the cause of 5% of fire damage in homes during 2012-2016, and they were the leading cause of home fire deaths.
- Avoid smoking inside your house.
- Don’t smoke if you’re at risk of falling asleep midway.
- Always fully extinguish your cigarette butts in water or sand, and don’t toss them anywhere there might be flammable material like dry grass or leaves.
- Consider using fire-safe cigarettes or electronic cigarettes instead.
House fires are most common in the colder fall and winter months, especially in December, January, and February. Part of the reason for this is because heating equipment like space heaters and chimneys are a leading cause of fire damage.
- Keep everything at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
- Turn off space heaters before going to bed.
- Get your chimney cleaned professionally at least once a year.
One area of your home where you definitely never want to cut corners is your electrical system. Electrical failure or malfunction is a major fire hazard, so make sure to comply with local guidelines when renovating or building a home, and let a professional electrician handle all of the wiring work.
- Check the wattage of appliances before using them to make sure the outlets you’re using can handle them.
- Don’t use extension cords to power any major appliances; they’re meant for temporary use only.
- Make sure all circuits have proper grounding.
Fortunately, simply using common sense can go a long way in keeping your home safe from fire damage. Regularly check your fire alarms to make sure they are working correctly, keep fire extinguishers easily accessible and in every room, and keep possible fire hazards out of reach of children and pets at all times. If you ever are the victim of fire damage, Sole Source Restoration can help restore your home. Give us a call at 401-712-2700.