The Most Common Causes of Fires and How to Prevent Them
Fires destroy many homes across the United States every year. However, many of these fires would be very easy to prevent. It is important for homeowners everywhere to educate themselves about fire safety and to take the necessary steps to prevent fires in their homes. These are some of the top fire causes and related safety tips.
Candles are one of the most common causes of fires all year round. Brushing against a candle or leaving it burning too close to a curtain or bedspread can easily spark a fire that engulfs an entire home quickly. To prevent fires from candles, never leave them lit unattended, near flammable items or in a child's room. Before going to sleep or leaving a room, blow any burning candles out. Make sure they are on even surfaces or in snug holders, so they do not tip over.
Faulty or old wiring is often the culprit of house fires. Hanging light bulbs, overloaded circuits and even faulty appliances can be the source of electrical fires. To prevent them, avoid overloading circuits. Do not use indoor cords outside or outdoor cords inside. Have a certified electrician check the wiring every year, and never leave Christmas trees, halogen lights or other lights on overnight.
This is especially important for seniors to know. According to statistics, about half of the people killed by smoking-related fires are over the age of 65. Since new regulations exist for non-flammable clothing and mattresses, the number of material-related deaths from smoking fires has dropped. To prevent this type of fire, do not smoke in bed or leave smoldering butts in an ashtray. While the optimal solution for health and home is to quit smoking, it is generally safer to smoke outdoors than indoors.
As mentioned before, some appliances can be the cause of electrical fires. However, both electric and gas clothing dryers can cause fires because of lint buildup. To avoid these fires, clean the lint traps regularly and use a vacuum or suction machine to remove lint from below the trap. Keep the appliance away from flammable substances, make sure the vents are not blocked and clean them when needed.
Statistics show that a little less than half of the fires in the United States start on stoves or in ovens when people plan to just step away for a minute or two. While some fires start in the oven, most of them start on range tops. Prevent cooking-related fires by always watching what is on the stove, staying alert and having smoke detectors in the house. Do not wear loose or baggy clothing when cooking on a range top. Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Lightning, matches and holiday lights are also common sources of fires. Stay indoors when there is lightning, do not let children play with matches and always unplug unattended indoor holiday lights. Turn off outdoor holiday lights at night before going to sleep and before leaving the property. To learn more about this topic, discuss concerns with an agent.
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