Most Common Causes for Home Fires
Fires can start in the simplest of ways and usually when we are doing everyday tasks. We often get very comfortable doing everyday activities, and therefore forget to remain cautious. The U.S. Fire Administration stated that half of fires were usually caused by cooking. The other leading causes consist of heating, electrical fires, smoking, and candles. Let’s look at each one to see how we can prevent these fires and to stay aware of these leading causes of fires.
- Cooking fires - These types of fires are an accident, of course, but are the leading cause of fires in the home. An accident in the kitchen can happen quickly. It is important to prevent a cooking fire by never taking your eye off the stove, and making sure you don’t overheat oil as that can start a grease fire. Always have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen that is easily accessible in case of a fire.
- Heating - Portable heaters cause many fires in the home. While portable heaters are convenient and a great asset during the winter months, it is important to abide by the specifications and instructions on the box. Many times, these cause a fire because the user was not abiding by the spatial requirements required of said heater. Always make sure to follow the instructions and do not keep your portable heater on for extended amounts of time, or near items that are flammable. Also, be aware that these safety guidelines are not just light recommendations. They have been tested and created to keep the user safe from home fires and personal injuries.
- Electrical fires - Electrical fires are incredibly dangerous and actually account for over 500 deaths per year. These are caused by loose wires and electrical outlets that do not function properly. If you are working on anything electrical in your home, always make sure to turn off all power to your house. Also, it is always recommended to have a professional check your electrical system to ensure they are up to code. You can practice fire safety in Chicago by having professionals come inspect your property.
- Smoking - Smoking causes fires that are often unnoticed. Unlike a kitchen fire that is immediate, fires caused by smoking are often caused because a cigarette butt was not completely put out. Never smoke indoors and always make sure that you use an ash tray, and ensure your cigarette butt was completely put out. Sometimes it appears to be put out, but is not and can ignite a fire if thrown in the grass or on a balcony. Never smoke indoors as this can often lead to dropping your cigarette on the carpet, bed, or couch which can start a fire.
- Candles - Candles are wonderful to enjoy, but are never meant to be left unattended. If you light a candle, make sure you remain in that room to keep an eye on it while it is lit. Don’t leave your house, or go to another room, especially if you have pets or children who can accidentally knock it over. Also, make sure your candle is kept at least one foot away from anything flammable.