It is estimated that over 350,000 house fires occur in the United States every year. It is easy to assume that this kind of thing could never happen to you, but even careful people make mistakes, and it only takes one second for a horrible accident to occur. At FP Property Restoration, our fire damage experts have everything needed to help you get back on your feet. From smoke cleanup to contents restoration to post-fire repairs, our restoration professionals have got you covered. However, as any restoration expert will tell you, the best way to keep your property safe from a house fire is to ensure one doesn’t happen in the first place. Keep reading for what you need to know about the top causes of house fires, and remember that if you do experience a fire in your home, FP Property Restoration is available 24 hours a day.
The Top 5 Causes of House Fires
- Cooking: As we’ve discussed before, the kitchen is one of the most common places in the home for a fire to occur. Cooking with oil, using a gas stove, popping things in and out of the microwave; doing any of these things wrong can have devastating consequences. The bottom line is that you have to be careful while you’re cooking. Don’t leave anything unattended, be mindful of what you put in your microwave, toaster, and oven, and don’t use any outdated appliances. And speaking of appliances…
- Electrical Equipment: Electrical fires cause approximately 51,000 deaths in this country every year. A lot of this stems from faulty wiring. For instance, if you see an outlet suddenly sparking or smoking, that usually means there’s some damaged or faulty wiring behind it. As alluded to above, there’s also malfunctioning appliances to consider. And sometimes fires occur because a light has overheated. With all this in mind, there’s one electronic device in your home that must be kept operational at all times—the smoke detector. A working smoke detector can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in damage and a house that just needs to be aired out.
- Heating: A malfunctioning furnace or boiler can be extremely dangerous for your property, which is why it’s important to hire a qualified HVAC technician to inspect your equipment at least once a year. Even more dangerous, however, is any kind of portable/space heater. These devices are the second biggest cause of house fires and house fire-related injured in the United States. The problem is that as soon as you put a heater too close to a wall or to a piece of furniture, it becomes a fire risk. If you use a portable heater, make sure to consult the instructions before plugging it in, don’t position it near anything even remotely flammable, and watch out for the cord, too.
- Candles: We all love a good candle during the holidays or on a romantic evening. But candles account for 3% of all house fire deaths, and 6% of house fire injuries. In fact, candles cause about 21 house fires a day in the U.S., so the next time you light up, make sure you are paying attention. Candles should never be allowed to burn when you aren’t home, and moreover, should probably be blown out anytime you leave the room. The same applies for when you are about to go to bed. Also, if you have any fans or HVAC equipment that could send an errant ash flying, make sure to light your candle far away from it.
- Smoking: On the list of the MANY reasons you shouldn’t smoke, you can add house fires. Smoking inside leads to 5% of all U.S. house fires, and this is on top of the thousands cigarettes kill every year through disease. If you must smoke, try to do it outside, and – much like lighting a candle – make sure you never fall asleep with a cigarette or put one down and let it burn while you are out of the room.