Common Causes of Seasonal Fires
There are five leading causes of home structure fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The five causes of home fires are cooking equipment, heating equipment, lighting equipment, intentional, and smoking materials. Other common causes of seasonal fires include fireworks, barbecue grills, and holiday decorations. Learn the risks and how to prevent them below:
Winter Fire Safety
The holiday season is a time to decorate using lights, candles and more. When putting up your holiday decorations, keep them away from heat sources and ensure all wires are out of the way to reduce the risk of them catching fire. According to the NFPA, heating equipment ranks second as a cause of home fires and home fire injuries, so be mindful of your space heaters when using them indoors. Keep the area around fixed or portable heaters clear to reduce the risk of things catching fire.
Holiday cooking can also become a fire hazard. If you are baking or cooking for long periods of time, use a timer so you don’t lose track of time. When cooking things on the stove, never leave it unattended.
Fall Fire Safety
Halloween is another holiday that involves fun decorations, like Jack-o-lanterns. Be mindful that jack-o-lanterns may present a fire risk if they are not handled with care. To eliminate the risk of a fire starting, you can use a fake candle or glow stick instead of a real candle. Other Halloween fire risks include paper ghosts, dry bales of hay, dry corn stalks, and loose fitting costumes. Keep all decorations away from heat sources such as light bulbs or heaters.
Thanksgiving revolves around cooking food, so kitchen fire safety is especially important around this time. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires so always keep an eye on your food while you are cooking. Keep young children away from the stove and cooking equipment out of reach.
Summer Fire Safety
During the summer, grilling and fireworks pose the greatest risk for fires. Over 50,000 fires are caused by fireworks annually, so it is important to take safety precautions seriously around the Fourth of July. Kids and adults alike love sparklers, but make sure not to point them at yourself or others while they are lit. If you are lighting fireworks, make sure to do so from a safe area that is dry and away from buildings. Only one firework should be set off at a time, and never let young children handle them. Keep a hose nearby in the case of an emergency.
Summer barbecues are also a popular activity, however without the proper safety equipment and awareness they can be a fire hazard. Grills should not be used near your home and keep a fire extinguisher nearby, so you are prepared in the event of an emergency.
No matter what season it is, make sure your home is equipped with the reliable fire safety equipment to help keep your home and family safe. Smoke detectors are you family’s first line of defense during an emergency. Install alarms on every level of your home, outside of each sleeping area, and inside every bedroom. Home fire extinguishers should also be kept on every level of you home, as well as in the kitchen and garage.