Restoration USA Tips: How Do House Fires Most Commonly Start?

by / Wednesday, 20 September 2017 / Published in Fire Damage, Restoration USA Tips

House fires are a nightmare that no one wants to face. Fires ravage through houses and burn everything in their path if they aren’t stopped. Before you know it, your home and all of your belongings can be reduced to ash and rubble. Though there are some things that naturally happen, such as lightning strikes and downed power lines, that can cause a fire in the home, there are some things you can control.

When Things Get Cookin’

Families spend time eating at the dinner table, in their own rooms, and even outside. Whether eating together or not, a homemade meal really hits the spot sometimes. Cooking on the family stove or in the oven can easily turn into a fire.

 

It turns out that oven mishaps are the leader in causing house fires. These are very easy to come by as well. People usually leave the oven or stovetop unattended and cross no issues. Sometimes there are situations where the one in charge is not paying attention and they burn the food, or worse, a fire breaks out. Tons of things near an oven can catch fire pretty easily. What is near your cooking station really matters. Things like paper towels are good to clean with as oven mitts are great for handling hot trays, but these two items are also pretty flammable when toe to toe with an open fire. Keeping these in proximity to the oven is essential, but it is good to keep them a little farther away in case a fire does spark up.

 

 

 Can You Prevent Oven Fires? 

 

If fires do come from your cooking habits, it is good to know what to do in the situation. Depending on where the fire is, you can do some things to stop it before it spreads. When a pot or pan combusts on the stove, quickly covering it with a lid and turning the element off can beat the fire. If the oven goes up, DO NOT open the door. Use a fire extinguisher or baking soda to put it out. These methods leave the flame with no oxygen and can easily put it out. Since they are going to stay hot for a while, it is best to keep an eye on it and don’t touch it for at least a half hour. If flames go out of control, call the fire department. It is better safe than sorry.

 

How can you prevent these fires from even starting? There is a very simple answer for that. Always keep an eye on your cooking. Check it more often than you think you’re supposed to. When you do successfully make a meal, turn the stove off! Many fires can happen when the stove is left on, so don’t forget that part. Think about how many meals you’ve burned, reflecting on this could show you that you may need to change some timing habits when you prepare so the food is not the only thing that gets damaged. Take precautions, clean the oven/stove, and keep an eye on everything so you can keep your belly and your wallet full.

 

Let There Be Light!

Electrical systems equate to over a billion dollars in property damages a year. That is a lot of money. Faulty or old equipment can pose a threat to your home. Broken bulbs and poor workmanship can cause an electric current to clot in a wire and heat up uncontrollably. When electrical energy stays in a spot, it needs to be released somehow, and heat is one way to do it. Ever notice how hot lightbulbs get? That is because the wires in it are actually releasing energy through light and heat. If energy like this is stuck in a system, it will get hot enough to burn itself and its surroundings.

 

Another problem people tend to have is plugging in a lot of items in one outlet. Like watching old movies where the outlet has all of the appliances and entertainment systems plugged in, it could trip the breaker in the home or even start up a fire.

 

 

 Fighting & Preventing Electrical Fires 

 

In regards to fires that come from electrical ports and other systems, extinguishers, fire blankets, and (if worst comes to worst) water can be used to fight these fires. If you feel like you’re unable to do it yourself, call the authorities.

 

Prevention in cases like this is also easy. When doing an electrical project, leave it to someone who knows what they are doing – like an electrician. Keep watch on old bulbs and other components in the house and make sure they work well. Last, use different outlets, power savers, and surge protecting power strips to plug in your fancy gadgets.

 

It’s Too Hot Outside!

 

Florida is known for its trademark heat. Which means heaters are rarely necessary here. Though states that experience cold winters are more at risk, some homes in Florida can be as well. When it starts to drop below the high 60s, some people bring out their heaters and crank them up. These can really do damage to your home if placed wrong or left unattended.

 

Quality heaters have a level in them that make the system cut off when they fall over; they also have automatic off switches when the air around it is sufficiently hot. If a heater is placed in a bad spot and doesn’t turn itself off, it can lead to a house fire quickly.

 

Using fire extinguishers and water to put out the blaze is definitely your first option. As stated before, authorities may be needed if it gets out of hand.

 

To prevent heating system fires, always keep watch of your heaters and put them in a location that is safe. We rarely use these here Florida, but it is good to know what you are getting into before you need it.

 

Cigarettes and Old Perfume

Some people are smokers and don’t mind smoking in or outside of the house. People also love to make their homes smell nice. Candles, incense, cigarettes, and many other daily use items can cause house fires.

 

When smoking in the home, it is best to use an ashtray that is big enough and not flammable. If cigarettes are ashed on the floor, that is a huge hazard as many solvents in hard floors and carpets are quick to catch flame. Smoking items left alone when hot or still burning can be huge factors in house fires. Candles and incense also bring a fire in the home. These can easily ignite things around them and cause an inferno.

 

Keeping close attention to anything burning in the home is critical in protecting yourself and your property from fires. Candles and incense should be in a burner and away from anything that might be subject to catching fire. It is also recommended to keep them a safe distance away from vents and fans just in case embers blow around. When someone is tired or impaired, keep an eye on them when they smoke. Make sure all of these are never left unattended or burning when no one is around. Double-check to confirm they are completely put out before leaving the room. Another good idea is to smoke outside to completely dodge the risk factor of a smoking-related house fire.

 

Fire Damage Cleaning And Repair Services

Unfortunately, fires can happen. Regardless of the cause, it can devastate homes and compromise the well-being of your belongings. Restoration USA is here to help when this transpires. Our trained professionals will help you every step of the way. With over 25 years of experience, we will help get your home back into a groove in no time. We provide 24-hour emergency service and will work at your convenience to tackle this job. Visit our fire damage page for some more information and how we can help. If you are in need of fire damage cleaning and repair services, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can reach us at  (866)-745-6428 for inquiries at any time, or fill out the contact form on our website for a free inspection.