Home fires often happen unexpectedly. The National Fire Protection Agency cites that there were 352,000 home fires in 2016 alone, resulting in over 2,700 deaths and over 10,000 injuries. Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur because there aren’t house smoke alarms. Because home fires are so common, it’s important that you have the proper house smoke alarms to alert you in the case of an emergency. Being prepared for any situation is key to your family’s safety. Here are some common causes of house fires and what you can do to reduce their risk.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), home electrical fires cause about 51,000 fires annually. Even seemingly harmless appliances like toasters or blenders can be the culprit behind a devastating fire. Faulty or frayed cords can spark a fire within seconds. Multiple power strips being used at maximum capacity is a fire hazard as well. Make sure all electrical devices and wiring are functioning properly to prevent sparking.
House smoke alarms are especially important to have near the kitchen, as cooking oils and other ingredients can easily start on fire. It is important that you avoid placing a smoke alarm above or around the stove because cooking smoke or steam may trigger a false alarm. Make sure to closely monitor everything that you’re cooking, and never leave an open flame or hot stove unattended.
Candles are an obvious source of fires, but they are worth mentioning. Approximately 37 percent of fires started by a candle began in bedrooms, as it’s easy to fall asleep with a candle still burning. Make sure to blow candles out every time you leave the room and keep them away from flammable items such as a tissue box, book, or curtains
The winter season sometimes calls for extra heat in your home. Portable heaters are useful, but also pose a threat to start on fire. Furniture, curtains, and clothes can all catch fire if there is a portable heater nearby. Keep portable heaters away from those objects and get it checked annually to ensure it meets safety standards.
There will always be potential fire hazards, so it’s important that we are aware of them! Make sure you have house smoke alarms as an extra layer of protection.