Protect Your Home From Fire
There are over 350,000 house fires per year in the United
States, resulting in over 2,000 deaths and tens of thousands of injuries. The resultant property damage is over $7
billion dollars. Carelessness is probably the biggest cause of
house fires, and being aware of how these fires can start is an excellent way
to keep your family and home safe from harm.
Make sure you have smoke detectors in every room and also at least one
fire extinguisher in the house. Call 911
at the first sign of a fire.
The kitchen is where most house fires originate, and cooking
and baking are the reasons. Heating oil
in a pan can cause it to ignite, and if curtains or clothing are nearby, these
can also catch fire. Many people forget
that they have something on the stove or in the oven until a fire has
started. When you are cooking, stay near
the stove, or set a timer to remind you when the food is ready. Children and pets can also cause kitchen fires
if they turn on the burners. Dogs have
been known to accidentally turn on the stove because they were trying to reach
something on the top of it. Removing the
knobs or putting a cover over them will prevent fires.
Also, when using the stove, do not lean over the burners, it
is easy for clothing or long hair to catch fire. If oil in a pan has ignited, do not throw
water on it – this will only make the fire expand and set the kitchen alight –
cover the pan with its lid or a wet towel after turning off the burner.
Many people use electric space heaters to warm up a cold
bedroom, but unless these are used properly, they can be responsible for
fires. Most of the problem occurs when
the heater is placed too close to the bed, other furniture, or clothing. The problem can be compounded if the person
using the heater is either asleep or absent from the room. If the heater tips over, unless there is an
automatic shut off, it will continue to heat whatever it is up against until it
causes a fire. Using an extension cord,
rather than plugging the heater directly into the wall socket will also
increase the chance of a fire.
If electrical equipment is not used properly, it can cause a
fire. Running a cord under a rug, where
the covering might be rubbed off after being walked on can cause the rug to
ignite. Overloading extension cords is
another source of electrical fires, and using an extension cord that is not
capable of handling a high wattage appliance can also cause a fire.
Gas water heaters can be responsible for fires if clothing
or other objects are placed too close to them. When the flame ignites, it can cause any
cloth or other items to catch fire. Use
a plate cover to help prevent accidents and keep any cloth at least 3 feet away
from the water heater.
Candles and Cats
Candles are a part of many homes, and they provide a certain
ambiance that electric lights do not give.
They are also used a good deal for emergency lighting, but caution
should always be used when candles are lit.
A candle should never be left unattended or around unsupervised
Oddly enough, cats are responsible for many fires started by
candles. They are often attracted to the
moving flame and either by batting at the candle or twitching their tail
against it, they can cause a fire to begin.