Home fires happen every day in the U.S. Actually, according to the National Fire Protection Association, one happens about every 86 seconds! But, why do they happen so often, and what can you do to prevent these fires? Education and fire prevention are your biggest assets in keeping your home safe from a house fire. Once you understand the main causes, you’ll know what you need to do to prevent them!
Here are the top three causes of home fires, and what you can do to stop them:
3. Electrical Equipment
Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of home fire related injuries in the U.S. Many of these come from electrical system failures. However, a significant amount of home fires can be avoided just by simply being aware of hazards with appliances, extension cords, and outlets.
- Never overload wall outlets or power strips. If you must use a power strip, make sure it has internal overload protection.
- Always plug major appliances like your refrigerator, stove, washer, or dryer directly into the outlet as opposed to into a power strip or extension cord.
- Replace cracked, damaged, or loose cords as soon as possible
- Plug small appliances into a Smart Plug that can be monitored and remotely controlled from your smartphone. If you leave toaster on, you can turn it off on the go..
- Keep lamps and light bulbs away from anything that can easily burn or catch fire
2. Heating Equipment
The second leading cause of home fires is heating equipment. This includes furnaces, fireplaces, space heaters, and more. When it comes to home fires, one of the biggest risks with heating equipment is failure to clean it. Using, cleaning, and maintaining your heating equipment properly will ensure your home is safe, all winter long.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from your heating equipment
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected at least once every year
- Turn portable and space heaters off when not using them or leaving a room
- Never use your oven to heat your home
- Use a Smart Thermostat so that you are immediately aware of rapid increases in temperature. Then turn off your thermostat remotely.
1. Cooking Equipment
The number one most common cause of home fires starts in the kitchen. Cooking equipment fires lead to more house fire related injuries and deaths each year than any other cause. Just by practicing proper cooking and kitchen safety, most of these fires can be prevented!
- Never leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
- Don’t wear loose or dangling clothing when cooking
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build up
- Install a monitored smoke detector in your kitchen. If a fire starts and you are unable to reach the phone, you’ll know help is on the way!
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen at all times so that you can fight a fire before it spreads.
Home fires start and spread quickly, and even if your family isn’t there when they happen, fires are still life-changing. We always recommend everyone have a home security system with monitored smoke detectors. This makes sure that no matter what happens, help is always on the way when you need it most. It could end up saving your home, or more importantly, your life.
Statistics show that nearly everyone will experience at least one home fire in their lifetime. The top three causes of home fires are electrical equipment, heating equipment, and cooking equipment. Education is your first defense. You can’t prevent all fires from happening, but by understanding what the common causes of home fires are, you can prevent the vast majority. Don’t overload electrical outlets or power strips. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from your heating equipment. And always stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking! By following these simple safety tips and teaching your children about proper fire safety, you’ll ensure your home and family are safe from fire.