House Fires: Why They Happen & How To Prevent Them
Cooking Equipment--The kitchen is a source of intense heat in a home, from the stove to the oven and beyond. A splatter from a hot pan can lead to a fire under the wrong circumstances. Most fires in the kitchen happen because people get distracted and walk away while cooking.
*To prevent this: Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, and keep flammable products away from hot surfaces at all times.
Smoking Cigarettes--Cigarettes can easily lead to fires because they are literally burning on one end. Whether you smoke inside or outside, you could be putting your home at risk. This is especially true during the dry months of the year when fires are more likely to erupt.
*To prevent this: Avoid smoking in the home, and make sure you dispose of all cigarettes in a deep ashtray. Keep the ashtray away from anything flammable, and never stomp out your cigarette on the grass.
Electrical Equipment--The appliances in your home can ignite a fire if they are not wired properly, or if they are too close to flammable materials. If you have older appliances in your home, it would be wise to replace them to avoid fires.
*To prevent this: Watch for loose or frayed wires on the electrical equipment in your home. Avoid draping towels or curtains over plugs, and do not plug in too many appliances to one extension cord.
Children--If a child is old enough to reach a set of matches and/or a lighter, he’s going to see what it does out of curiosity. You must be careful about leaving your children near a possible cause of fires, and you must keep an eye on them even if they are old enough to play on their own.
*To prevent this: Make sure all fire starters are put away in a place your child cannot access. Also be careful about open outlets and electrical equipment in a child’s room.
Flammable Liquids--Fuels, paints, thinners, solvents, and other flammable liquids can easily ignite a fire in your home. This could happen in the heat of the summer or from a simple spark of static electricity, depending on how the chemicals are stored.
*To prevent this: Store all flammable liquids in approved containers, and keep them away from heat sources. Ideally, keep them outside in a well-ventilated area.