There are many prevention-minded fire safety techniques that most homeowners are aware of and follow thoroughly. However, in many cases, the cause of a house fire can be attributed to a source that the members of the house were not aware of or were negligent about. In fact, except in cases of arson, this is almost always the case.
Beyond the safety measures that come to mind instantly, such as keeping a fire extinguisher present and well maintained or turning the stove off after each use, the major causes of a house fire can fly under your radar.
Most Common Causes of a House Fire
Even though a house fire can be caused by nearly any mishap, if you know the major causes and have measures in place, then you can be prepared.
- Electrical: Frayed wiring or faulty outlets are one of the major cause of house fires. In order to make sure that your house is safe, you should routinely check all wires for damage. If any are frayed, were chewed up by the family pup, or are in bad shape, then you should replace them immediately. You never want to cover your electrical cords with rugs or crimp them. You need to be aware of the electrical capacity of your home as well to ensure you don’t overload your circuits.
- Dryers: The lint trap built into your dryer should be cleaned after each use. Even though it may seem more or less like a hygienic duty, removing the lint from the trap is also crucial to prevent accidental fires. Lint is very flammable, and if a spark were to touch the lint, a fire would start very quickly. Cleaning the filter is also great for keeping your dryer running at a high performance.
- Other Heat Sources: Many people use extra heat sources in their homes such as space heaters and the like. These can be very dangerous if not properly used and can lead to a house fire. You should never use an older, outdated space heater or place your heater near drapery or other flammable objects. Space heaters should also be turned off before you go to bed or leave the house. You can safely keep your home warm.
If your home is equipped with any type of fire detection or suppression systems, then you should have those routinely maintained and inspected. If your home is not equipped with any fire systems, consider having them installed, as you’re likely violating several local laws. Having both fire alarms and suppression systems such as automatic sprinklers can reduce injuries, death, and property damage by 50% or more.
Did a fire hit your neighborhood? Find out what you can do for your neighbors after a fire.