Your home is your haven. It is a place of protection from the outside world. But there are some scenarios when your home can pose a threat to your life. This is the case when house fires break out. The National Fire Protection Association states that up to 400,000 house fires occur in the US each year. It’s obvious then that this is a real risk. So, what are the most common causes of house fires and what steps can you take to minimize or eliminate risks?
About 42% of all reported house fire cases are a result of cooking accidents. This is not hard to understand since the kitchen is home to many flammable items and heat sources. But you have to eat, and so you cannot stop using your kitchen altogether. However, understanding how easy it is to start a house fire in the kitchen can move you to be more alert while using it. Never leave flames or heat sources unattended for long periods of time, keep cooking utensils at a safe distance from heat sources, and in the worst-case scenario, know how to smother a fire before it gets out of hand.
Cigarettes, Cigars, and Similar Items
Aside from smoking itself leading to higher death rates in users, smoking also accounts for large numbers of deaths related to house fires. Cigarettes that are not put out carefully or fall onto carpets and floors without notice can create fires quite easily. Keep your home and your family safe by strictly only smoking outdoors.
Another major cause of house fires are appliances. Overused or outdated appliances pose a higher risk of catching fire. Older appliances and heaters do not have the updated fire safety mechanisms that modern versions do. To minimize fire risks related to appliances, aim to unplug these devices when not in use. And if they are particularly old and used, consider upgrading to newer models.
Many people enjoy lighting candles in their homes, but there is caution to be had when doing so since an estimated 18,000 house fires stem from candles each year. Most of the time, cases related to candles are a result of negligence. So really the best way to avoid house fires when using candles is to keep an eye on them while in use. Never leave the home with a candle lit. You can also minimize the size of the flame by trimming the wick as needed. And you can even switch to battery operated candles without sacrificing ambiance.
Knowing some of the most common causes of house fires can help you be cautious of their sources and prevent them from occurring in your home. Another protection against house fires are smoke alarms. Periodically check the smoke alarms in your home to make sure they are in working order.
If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, having a home inspection done is crucial. Reach out to Strouse Home Inspections if you are in need of this service. One thing we always make sure to check are carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. We want to help you make a sound purchase that can keep your family safe.
By Strouse Home Inspections 3-14-2022