Every year, over 350,000 home structures are damaged or destroyed by house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, “Your household has a one in four chance of having a home fire large enough to be reported to a fire department during an average lifetime. Someone in your household also has a one in ten chance of suffering a fire injury in a home fire an average lifetime.”
With odds like that, you may find yourself asking what you can do to prevent your Logan home and your loved ones within it from being damaged by a house fire. Below, we have compiled a list of ten common causes of house fires, accompanied with habits you can keep and teach your children to live fire-aware and keep your household safe.
Always be sure to unplug all electrical cords when not in use or necessary. Toasters, curling irons, candle warmers, lamps, and other various electronic items can take flame if they overheat, or spark if the wiring is faulty or damaged.
Never leave cooking food unattended. Whether it be in the oven or on the stovetop, if it burns or splatters, it only takes a few unattended moments to start on fire and pose a threat to your home. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in your kitchen, and make sure your children understand how to put out a grease fire in case of emergency. Never pour water on a grease fire. If you do not have a fire extinguisher and are unable to smother the fire, baking soda can also act as an extinguishing agent.
If you light a candle, always extinguish the flame before you leave it alone. Candles have the risk of being knocked over or catching onto nearby surroundings and can turn your home into a disaster zone in a matter of moments.
Remember to update your appliances any time they seem to be acting strange or when you know there is something wrong with them. Operating faulty appliances can cause sparking or overheating that could lead to fire damage.
If the outlets or lighting in your home seems to be acting out of sorts, get it professionally handled before they build up heat or electricity that could start a fire.
Did you know that there are many chemicals that are highly flammable and require special storing in order to prevent spontaneous combustion? To best avoid disaster, always read the labels on your chemicals and see how and where they need to be stored. If it is especially warm in your area, the shelf in the garage may not be the best place for all your chemicals. Also, be very careful when handling petrol, kerosene or methylated spirits, as these are flammable liquids that could put your home at risk.
Barbecues are a fun way to share food and socialize outdoors. To keep your backyard BBQ safe, be sure that your grill is away from tablecloths, trees, shrubbery, foliage, or anything that might have the potential to catch fire. Keep it clean and clear of old food, and make sure your gas tank doesn’t have any leaks.
73% of all house fire fatalities begin with fires started in the bedroom or lounge area. A contribution to this staggering number includes smoking in the bedroom. Never smoke indoors, and always be sure your cigarette butt is properly put out, as sometimes they can stay lit for hours and erupt into flames upon contact with something flammable.
Have the heating in your home regularly checked to be sure everything is working properly. Be careful when using portable heaters. A good rule of thumb is to keep your portable heater at least one yard away from anything that might catch fire, including curtains, blankets, clothing, etc.
Be sure your children know to never play with matches and are aware of all the risks that could lead to house fires. The simplest things like candles or a pan on the stove can turn into catastrophe in just seconds.