When a fire takes over your home, it is not only devastating, but it can be costly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, preventable fires caused 15.3 billion dollars worth of damage in 2015. Many households and commercial buildings are destroyed by fires that could have easily been avoided. Although Mr. Restore is just a phone call away in case of a fire emergency, it is important to know how to keep you and your family safe. The following list describes the causes of fires that could have been averted.
- Cooking and Unattended Stoves
Cooking is a daily part of our lives. Unfortunately, if left unattended, the stove can be a very dangerous appliance in your kitchen. In fact, cooking was the #1 cause of house fires in 2016, causing 35.7% of all fires in the United States. In order to avoid a kitchen fire, take the following precautions when preparing a meal for you and your family:
- Never leave a hot stove unattended – always stay in the kitchen when you are using heat to prepare food
- Avoid wearing loose clothing when cooking. Check to make sure all articles of your clothes (especially your sleeves!) are tucked away from the heat
- Ensure you have a smoke alarm in or near the kitchen
- Always use a timer when cooking
- Keep items away from the burner. Check to make sure extra ingredients, pot holders, paper towels, and cooking utensils are not near the burner
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments responded to 17,200 residential fires caused by smoking materials in 2014. Smoking materials include most tobacco products, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. A smoking material that is not properly put out after use can easily catch surrounding flammable materials (such as furniture, blankets, and carpets). Many house fires are caused due to butts and ashes that were not properly discarded. In order to minimize the risk of house fires caused by smoking, use water to put out smoking materials and avoid smoking indoors.
Candles are a beautiful, fragrant addition to any home. Unfortunately, candles cause an average of 25 house fires each day in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fire departments across the nation report that many house fires caused by candles are a result of people forgetting they have a lit candle in another room or falling asleep before blowing out a candle. The peak time for candle-related fires is in December, particularly on News Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and Christmas Day. NEVER leave a candle unattended, even for a few minutes. Ensure that a lit candle is away from curtains, bedding, and any other flammable items.
The National Fire Protection Associated reported an average of 45,000 fires caused by electrical failure or malfunction in between 2010 and 2014. Faulty electrical wiring was the main cause of these fires, followed by cords and plugs. Many people do have their electrical and wiring inspected in their homes, leading to fires that could have easily been prevented by having an electrician inspect your home. If you have an older home or aluminum wiring, it is best to get your home inspected at least twice a year. Look around your home to be sure that no cords or plugs are in poor condition. Check for any torn or frayed cords and replace them immediately. These types of cords are prone to overheating and causing a spark, which leads to a fire. Also, check around the outlets in your home. Be sure not to "overcrowd" an electrical outlet or extension cord. Lastly, keep your outlets and cords away from flammable materials, including bedding, plush carpets, and curtains. No matter what causes a fire, Mr. Restore is prepared to help clean and fix the damage. Check out our comprehensive review of fire damage and what not to do if you experience a fire at your home or business.