Watching for Fire Hazards in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central
We know the idea of your home being damaged by fire is an unpleasant one, but unfortunately for many Americans, it’s something that has become a harsh reality.
You can help protect your home and family by understanding fire hazards and learning how to identify them.
Smoking Is a Fire Hazard
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, but smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths.
An estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported in 2014 due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
It is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.
Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out—and remember that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
Exercise Caution With Candles
During a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, the National Fire Protection Association reported that fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles.
In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries.
There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December being the prime time of the year for home candle fires. Of the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the deaths and 51 percent of the injuries.
Tips for safely burning a candle:
- Keep it at least one foot away from anything flammable.
- Always use a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over.
- Never burn a candle if oxygen is being used in the home.
- Always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Fire Hazards That Could Be Hiding in Plain Sight
There are other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.
Did you know that some kinds of glassware in your home could be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s best to move glass accessories away from windows.
Look out for loose outlets in your home. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.
Dust bunnies can also pose a fire risk when collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can help prevent buildup.
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO ® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.