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Top 7 Causes of Home Fires

How to Stay Safe This Winter

home fire

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are between 300,000 and 400,000 home fires in the U.S. every year, and these fires can cause 2,000 to 3,000 deaths. Unfortunately, many of these fires could have been prevented by taking precautions. Our Glenmoore heating experts want you to stay safe, so we’re sharing the most common causes of home fires:

Cooking Equipment

Many kitchen fires start because of unattended cooking equipment. Stepping away from a hot stove while there are flammable materials at hand is never a good idea. If there’s an event that needs your attention, turn off the stove and remove your cooking equipment from the heat before leaving.

Also, keep a fire extinguisher close to the area and know what to do if a fire does occur. We found this helpful guide: “How to Put Out Kitchen Fires.”

Heaters

Space heaters are a great way to stay warm and save energy in the winter, but they must be used with caution. Leave room between the heater and other objects, keep it away from water, and don’t leave it unattended. For more information, read our blog on space heater safety.

Smoking

Cigarettes and cigars can provide enough heat to easily start a fire if either comes in contact with a flammable item. If you have to smoke, smoke outside and away from potential hazards like dry leaves or propane grills. If you smoke inside, make sure you’re away from flammable items and that you soak your butts before you throw them away.

Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring always poses a fire threat, but the threat increases if the wiring is frayed, the electrical equipment is faulty, or there’s an overload of electricity in a wall socket or extension cord. Make sure the outlets you use can handle the appliances you plug into it. Also, if you come across an appliance with frayed or exposed wires, or if the appliance is malfunctioning or producing strange smells, don’t use it. You could risk a fire and/or injury.

Children

Kids don’t understand the true dangers of fire and can very easily mishandle lighters, appliances, heaters, cooking equipment, and more. Be sure to keep anything flammable away from children and educate them on fire safety, including what to do if there’s a fire in the home.

Candles

While candles are a nice way to make your home cozy, they shouldn’t be left unattended. If you’re leaving the room, blow out any lit candles to prevent starting a fire. It’s also important to keep the wick trimmed – it’ll not only prevent smoke and soot, but it’ll also keep the flame under control and make your candle last longer. We found this nice guide on wick trimming.

Holiday Decor

When we think of the holidays, we think of Christmas trees and decorative lights (and forget that both of these things can start fires). If you get a Christmas tree, keep it in a tree stand with 2-3 liters of water and away from heat sources (including heaters, vents, TV sets, fireplaces, candles etc.). When it comes to lights, check the wiring before you use them and make sure that you don’t hang them near flammable objects. Also, it’s a good idea to turn them off during the night. You’ll not only save energy but you’ll also prevent a fire even further.

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