How Common Are House Fires?

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House fires are often unexpected, resulting in thousands of deaths and many more injuries every year.  Since house fires are so frequent, it pays to be prepared for any situation and to know how to safeguard your home. So, how common are house fires? Off all fires reported in the U.S. each year, over 30 percent happen in residential homes. Here are some causes of house fires and what you can do to minimize the risk.

How Common Are House Fires?

Cooking

How Common Are House Fires?

Whenever a pan or pot overheats and splatters grease, it only takes a few seconds to cause a fire. Most house fires happen around dinner time because people get distracted and leave their cooking unattended. When cooking, be sure to monitor everything closely and stay in the kitchen — especially when using high temperatures or oil. Also, keep combustibles such as paper towels and oven mitts away from sources of heat.

Heating Equipment

Well over 10 percent of all residential fires are caused by heating equipment. Your home heater can cause a fire when combustibles and fabrics such as clothes, curtains and furniture are left too close to them. As such, keep heaters at a safe distance, say at least one meter away from anything that can quickly catch fire. It’s also crucial to have your heating equipment checked annually to ensure they meet safety standards.

Open Flames

Fireplaces, candles, barbecue grills and outdoor bonfires are amazing when monitored and controlled, but extremely dangerous when they’re not. Open flames account for about 4 percent of all house fires. You can prevent fires by exercising caution whenever you’re handling an open flame. Put out any open flames before leaving the room and keep them out of the reach of children and pets and away from combustible materials.

Smoking

Smoking is a well-known health hazard, but also potentially leads to house fires. Smoking on the sofa or in bed is especially dangerous as it takes a single stray ash to ignite a carpet, mattress, couch or piece of clothing. The best way to prevent fires from smoking is to stop smoking altogether! Alternatively, smoke outside whenever possible and put your spent cigarette butts into water.

Electrical Equipment

It’s hard to live without electrical gadgets, but even the most seemingly harmless ones like blenders and toasters can cause a devastating inferno. Damaged or frayed cords can spark a fire within seconds. Running cables under furniture and rugs are fire hazards as well. If you have any reasons to suspect the integrity of your electrical equipment, have them checked by a professional.

Other possible causes of fires include:

  •    Christmas trees-because of proximity to a heat source and faulty wiring.
  •    Kids-kids playing with matchboxes and lighters.
  •    Flammable liquids-cleaning agents, fuels, solvents, paints, adhesives and other raw materials can also ignite and cause fires if stored improperly.

Bottom Line

How common are house fires? Unfortunately, house fires are more common than you may think. You need to exercise extreme care to ensure that heat sources are never left unattended and flammable items in your house are appropriately stored. One small mistake can potentially lead to a disaster, so make some effort and take the extra time to keep your home safe. In the case that your home does experience fire damage, there’s no need to worry. Restoration experts at Titan Restoration offer fire damage restoration services that can restore your home to its original condition.

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