Do you have any of these fire hazards in your home? According to The National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 360,000 house fires every year. In all, those fires do as much as $8 billion in damage, which companies like A&J Specialty Services restore back to their original splendor whenever possible.
However, many of those 360,000 fires may have been preventable through a little effort to minimize risks around your Madison-area home. Here are four common fire hazards, and some safety tips to go along with them. So admittedly are preventable while others, like lightning, are not.
It’s probably of little surprise that cooking is the #1 source of house fires. With such crazy-busy lives, it is so easy to turn on the stove then walk away and forget all about it. The NFPA says 40 percent of all house fires are started this way – and of that number, 57 percent start on the range or cook top, and just 16 percent inside the oven.
When you are cooking, be alert and pay attention to what you are doing. If you have a grease fire, do not throw water on it. Instead, put a lid on top of it to smother the fire. Same goes for the oven – if something is on fire, turn the oven off and leave the door closed until the fire is out. Remember, oxygen feeds fire – so cutting off the oxygen source in a pan or the oven by closing it will help put the flames out faster.
While more and more people are kicking their smoking habit for good, the NFPA still says there are about 17,000 smoking-related fires each year. So if you are a smoker, consider smoking outside. If you prefer the comfort inside your home, be sure you’re using wide, sturdy ash trays and make sure nothing falls onto flammable surfaces like carpet, couches, cushions, and so on.
Above all, do not smoke in bed, when you’re tired, or if you’re on oxygen.
Now, these fire hazards are not always preventable. Obviously you aren’t always going to know what’s going on within the walls of your home. However, take care to not overload your outlets or extension cords. At Christmastime, be sure to turn off the lights on your tree and elsewhere when you aren’t home. And finally, consider having an electrician periodically to a checkup on the electrical systems in your home.
According to the NFPA, July is the most active month for these kinds of fires. The association says of the 7,100 fires started by children each year, most of the children are younger than six and use matches or a lighter. Forty percent of the time, the fire is started in a bedroom.
Basic fire safety applies here: keep matches, lighters, and other fire-starting items out of reach of children and be sure to teach proper fire safety early and often.
We mentioned above being sure you teach your children proper fire safety. It is also important to be sure you have a planned escape route from every room in case there is a fire, and a meeting spot outside the home.
Homes are replaceable; people are not. If there is a fire in your home, don’t rush back inside. Let the firefighters handle putting out the flames, and let A&J Specialty Services help you get back on your feet.