Learning About Fire Hazards in Your Home | SERVPRO® of West Bradenton/Anna Maria Island
Thinking about the possibility of a fire in your home is never an ideal situation to imagine, this we know. For thousands of people throughout the country each year, though, this situation has become a reality.
Want to take steps to protect your home from a structure fire? Take some time to review common fire hazards and some lesser-known ones.
After reviewing data for a five-year period, from 2011 to 2015, the National Fire Protection Association foundthat fire departments in the U.S. responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles.
Candles are reported to have caused 2 percent of 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 over those five years—and December was when home candle fire instances were most common.
Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries. In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
If you’re burning a candle, make sure it’s at least one foot away from anything flammable and in a sturdy holder that won’t tip over easily. You should not be burning candles in a home where oxygen is being used, and remember to always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, but smoking inside is the leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2014, an estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes.
The Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes reported that those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage.
Fire-safe cigarettes are the safest option, and deep, sturdy ashtrays should always be used. Put out all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them.
Smokers should know that most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Also, keep in mind that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
There are many lesser-known hazards that may be present in your home that could also cause of home structure fires.
Some types of glassware in your home can pose a fire risk, because when sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray could ignite flammable materials. This is why it’s smart to move glass accessories away from windows.
Look out for loose outlets in your home, because the movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing, increasing the risk of fire.
Dust bunnies can also pose a fire risk when collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Vacuuming or sweeping your floors regularly and cleaning behind those hard-to-reach places, like an 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 West Bradenton/Anna Maria Island is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.