According to the American Red Cross, 7 people die and 36 people are injured every day as a result of house fires. In addition to this, over $7 billion in property damage and home restoration is reported due to house fires each year. With a problem this large, there have to be a few things we can do to help decrease the likelihood of being involved in a house fire, right? Luckily, there are.
To help combat the effects of house fires, the American Red Cross has asked citizen to start doing two things: install working smoke alarms and practice fire drills with their family at home. While these two tasks are great for reacting to a house fire, there is still more that can be done to prevent house fires in the first place. The following three tips will help your family practice safe habits to avoid starting a fire in your home.
Wiring and Electrical Fires
Travelers.com states that faulty wiring and electrical outlets are one of the biggest causes for home fires. The scary thing about these types of problems is that you may not be aware of them until it’s too late, especially if the wiring is behind the walls of your home. However, there are still many precautions you can take to ensure visible wires and electrical cords are handled safely.
To keep cords and wires from becoming too hot and starting a fire, make sure to never cover them with rugs or other cloths. Also, never use a cord if you notice that it is fraying or that some of the wires are exposed. This increases that chances of issues arising with these cords. And finally, just be aware of how much power your home can take plugged into it before you blow a fuse or overload the circuits.
Fires in the Kitchen
Many kitchen fires are either caused by flammable items being too close to cooktops or cooking food being left unattended, especially if that food is frying or boiling. As a rule of thumb, hot surfaces in the kitchen should never be left unattended or manned by children.
While fires in the kitchen are fairly common, most of the injuries that occur during a kitchen fire are as a result of a person trying to fight the fire on their own, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In fact, that’s how 55 percent of home kitchen fire injuries happen. To keep this number from rising, the NFPA recommends for people to keep lids close by while cooking in order to quickly smother a fire if one erupts. And if a fire gets out of hand, just call 911—don’t try to handle the fire yourself.
According to FamilyHandyMan.com, candles cause 5 percent of all house fires. Having open flame candles can be very dangerous because the flames can easily be used to catch other home items on fire. It’s also very easy to leave candles unattended for a short period of time or to even accidentally leave them burning when you leave the house.
To avoid causing a house fire as a result of burning a candle, the Family Handyman suggests putting your candles in tip-proof containers, lighting them away from other combustible materials, and only burning them while you’re in the same room and awake. By following these rules with candles, you should be able to avoid house fires caused by these items.
House fires are very real and very scary things. To keep your home and family as safe as possible, use the tips above to avoid starting a fire in your home and to prepare yourself if a fire ever does occur.