Some Not-So-Fun Facts about Fire
From a very young age, we were all taught the dangers presented by fire. We learned not to play with matches and lighters, to “stop, drop, and roll” if we somehow caught fire, and some of the consequences of leaving fire, including cooking equipment, unattended. Despite these teachings, the National Fire Protection Association reports that a fire department in the United States responds to a fire somewhere in the nation every 23 seconds. So, what are the leading causes? What can we do to reduce fire risk? How can we better protect ourselves and our properties from fire?
The top five causes of residential structure fires are cooking, heating, electrical malfunction, smoking, and candle use. Let’s address each of these and determine how to reduce our fire risk:
- Cooking: Never leave your stovetop or grill unattended while in use. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire. Do not allow children to use cooking appliances without adult supervision. Make sure appliances are turned off and/or extinguished after use.
- Heating: It is imperative to use equipment, such as space heaters, in the methods instructed by the manufacturer, and to keep this equipment away from flammable materials, including draperies, furniture, and clothing. Do not use outdoor heating appliances indoors.
- Electrical: If you smell burning, see smoke coming from outlets, or have consistently tripped breakers, consult a professionally trained electrician ASAP for an inspection. In homes with older wiring, it may be wise to have the property rewired. Do not overload circuits by plugging in too many appliances, using splitters, or “daisy chaining” multiple pieces of equipment.
- Smoking: Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Do not leave a cigarette, cigar, or other tobacco product burning unattended. Do not leave ashtrays on top of flammable materials, and make sure all ashes are extinguished once finished smoking.
- Candles: Much like lighters and matches, burning candles should not be left in an area accessible by children or pets. Be sure to extinguish candles when not attended, and store away from flammable materials. Consider using battery operated candles instead of wick burning as an added safety measure.
Even with the best preparation, monitoring, and safety measures, fire can, and will, still happen. When fire damage affects your home or business, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Escambia County for help. Our team has extensive fire damage restoration training and will take the upmost care to restore as much of your property as possible. To learn more about our services, or request help, please give us a call: 850-466-3089. SERVPRO of Northwest Escambia County: “We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster!”