Fire safety is key in fire prevention!
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) there are on average of between 350,000 and 400,000 fires every year in the U.S.that is an average of 39.9 – 45.6 fires every hour! That is a lot of house fires every year! Unfortunately a majority of these fires could have been prevented.
The key to fire prevention is fire safety awareness!
According to the NFPA the top 9 leading causes of house fires are as follows.
Cooking- 42% of all house fires are caused by cooking related incidents. For instance, an oven or stove left unattended. Something most of us are guilty of, but should never do, is leaving something on the stove unattended. Even if it’s only for a moment, disaster can strike in an instant.
Children playing with fire- It is really important to teach children about fire safety. All too frequently a lighter and/or matches are left where children can reach them. It is important to teach your children about fire safety and the reasons why they should never play with fire. Be sure to have this conversation not just one time but once a week just to be sure they don’t forget.
Smoking- People falling asleep while smoking may not seem like a big deal however smoking is the source of many house fires leading to almost 1,000 deaths a year. Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped on a number of household items can quickly become large fires! Please, if you smoke in your home (which we strongly recommend not doing), make sure you are awake enough to finish it or extinguish it!
Heating- Every winter we hear about a home catching fire due to a heating source. If you have a furnace, remember to have it serviced regularly. A more common cause of heating related fires is small space heaters. If you are using space heaters try to purchase ones that turn off automatically when bumped or flipped over. Always keep space heaters on a flat surface with nothing around them i.e. curtains, chairs, clothes, ext.
Electrical- One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords. Surprisingly, just because there is an open plug doesn’t mean you can plug just ANYTHING into it. Extension cords can safely pull a certain amount of amps, so be sure to have the right equipment for the job! You can figure out what extension cord is right for you simply by reading the label. If there is ever any doubt, you are probably much better off to hire an electrician to provide you with permanent wiring. It is also very advisable to have an electrician perform an annual checkup on your home’s wiring.
Candles- Candles are a completely preventable fire. They should never be left unattended when all too often they are. If you leave the room the candle should leave with you or be blown out. Forgotten candles are very dangerous. It is important that you always remember to blow them out when leaving the house, always double check! Getting into this ritual could save you and your loved ones lives and a lot of grief.
Dryers- Dryers are all too often forgotten! It is imperative for us to remember to empty out our dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented. Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents to the outside once a year.
Flammables in the House – There are a lot of products left around the home that are highly flammable (especially if the garage is attached to the home). Be careful of where you place any flammable materials (fuels, oils, etc.). Don’t place them next to a possible source of a fire as they can rapidly turn a bad situation into a disaster. The simplest rule is to keep them contained and away from the home to the greatest extent possible.
Christmas Trees- It seems like nothing really sets the holiday mood like a live Christmas tree (great smell and just exceptionally authentic). However, if you don’t keep it well watered and still proceed to wrap it with electrical cords (I mean… Christmas lights of course). If you let it get too dry it can quickly result in a fire so just check it frequently and leave the lights off if you are going to be away from home for a while.
The fact of the matter is that most household fires are completely preventable. Please be sure to exercise caution when it comes to your home. Taking a few extra precautions can keep you and your loved ones safe!
If you have any questions please give SERVPRO of Alexandria a call at (318)427-7511.