This blog has been updated on November 6, 2020. Click here to be redirected to the updated post.
While we hope that you never experience any magnitude of fire, you should always be prepared for the worst. To help you out, here is how to prevent the most common causes of house fires so you can gain peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep your home protected.
First – General Tips to Prevent Common Causes of House Fires
First, let’s discuss a few general best practices that you can adhere to in order to prevent common types of home fires:
- Always have charged fire extinguishers in easily-accessible places throughout the home. Check them regularly to see if they need to be re-charged.
- Ensure fire escapes are clear of furniture and other hard-to-move objects.
- Never disable your fire or smoke alarms and make sure to test the batteries regularly.
- If you do experience a fire, get out of your house as quickly as possible and dial 911. Many fire injuries occur when the homeowners attempt to put out a fire by themselves.
At the top of our list is the leading cause of house fires – cooking – accounting for almost half of all residential fires in the country. Unattended ovens, stovetops, grills and even microwaves, can set your home ablaze. Frying grease is also a big culprit of devastating home fires.
How To Prevent Common Cooking-Related Fires
Never leave cooking food unattended, no matter what type of preparation method you’re using. Turn off any actively hot surfaces when you leave the room.
Do not hang flammable materials above the stovetop or next to a grill. Things like towels, food packaging, oven mitts, wooden utensils or curtains can catch on fire quickly, especially near an open flame.
Do not attempt to put out a grease fire with water – it will only spread the flames making it harder to put out. Instead, use a metal object to smother a grease fire.
Have a fire extinguisher that’s classified as either A, B or C, which are designed for common kitchen fires like grease, electrical appliances and ordinary combustibles.
Smoking can cause devastating effects to your home, as well, if you’re not careful. While we don’t condone smoking, we know that it’s a personal choice and you should always take the necessary preventative measures to avoid causing a fire.
How To Prevent Common Smoking-Related Fires
- Always make sure that you put your cigarette, cigar butts out.
- Head outside for a smoke and avoid the issue completely.
- Buy an ashtray that’s heavy enough so it won’t tip over, and always ensure the contents of your ashtray are cold before emptying it.
- Do not ash on anything that’s flammable.
Another common cause of house fires comes from malfunctioning electrical components. Whether you’ve overloaded an outlet or an appliance starts sparking, electrical fires can start before you know it and cause lasting damage to your home. As a homeowner, you need to be smart with your home’s electrical consumption to ensure you aren’t putting yourself in any danger.
How To Prevent Common Electrical-Related Fires
- Hire a professional electrician to conduct an annual inspection of your home’s electrical system. They can spot everything from damaged circuits to faulty wiring to efficiency improvements and more.
- Don’t overload a circuit or leave your lights on for an extended period of time.
- Understand the electrical capacity of your circuit breaker and do not attempt to overload it. A licensed electrician can help you understand how much capacity your electrical system can handle if you don’t know how.
- Analyze all the electrical cords throughout your home and replace or discard any fraying wires. Ensure no cords are pinched, knotted, twisted or running under any objects such as an area rug.
- Know how surge protectors and power strips differ from each other. Surge protectors are needed to protect devices from a power spike, while regular power strips do not offer any protection. It’s generally recommended to use a surge protector when powering valuable devices like TVs and desktop computers.
Always Be Prepared!
A home fire can be a devastating experience – sometimes people simply think that it can’t happen to them. Don’t be caught unprepared. Take the necessary preventive steps to ensure that your home is always protected from the damaging effects of a fire.