Fire safety continues to be an ever-pressing issue in the U.S. Although the rate of house fires has decreased since the 1970s, one can never be too careful when it comes to dealing with higher-risk substances and scenarios around the house. Below is a list of the top causes for house fires of which one should be aware.
Cooking is the most common cause for house fires. There is a good reason why kitchens used to be located separately from the main house. One of the reasons for cooking fires is grease. When grease reaches a hot enough temperature, it can combust without even touching a flame. Grease is highly flammable and is hard to put out. Use baking soda or a fire extinguisher instead of water, and clean the stove regularly to avoid grease build-up. Likewise, actively attending the stove and keeping flammable objects like fabric away from it can also prevent cooking fires. The same applies to outdoor cooking appliances.
Heating equipment is also one of the top causes of fires. Chimneys, heating appliances, and space heaters can cause flames if unmaintained or unattended. Get the chimney, wood-burning stove, and heating appliances inspected and cleaned to keep them safe. Keep space heaters and baseboard heaters from the walls and flammable items.
Another thing to get checked if you have not already is your electrical equipment. Short-circuited and overloaded wires cause many a fire each year. Since the wires are hidden behind walls, sparks can be harder to detect and catch before it’s too late.
Hands down, smoking too lends the risk of careless persons not properly putting out or containing the cigarettes. Smoking in bed risks setting surrounding flammable objects aflame, and even a cigarette left outdoors can set fire to a house depending on the wind.
Carelessness also takes advantage of beautifully lit candles in the home. Never leave candles unattended or less than 12 inches from other objects. Pay special attention when children are around and during the holidays when fires happen most.
This list would not be complete without mentioning Christmas trees. A fire from a Christmas tree can result from faulty electrical wiring and old incandescent Christmas lights. Natural evergreens may be more at risk, because they can dry out over time as the tree gets old. Checking the wires and using LED bulbs can significantly decrease any risk.
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