Home fires can occur in any home, at any time. A house fire can have many causes, such as faulty electrical equipment, cooking incidents, and even children playing with fire. The average number of home fires each year is 374,000. Each year, over 7 billion dollars is spent on restoration and repairs of homes that have been either damaged by fire and smoke or need to be completely rebuilt. Although there are many factors that could start a fire in the home, here are the top three in order that are major causes of fires.
1) Smoking Inside. Along with the wide array of health problems that smoking can cause, it is also the number one cause of home fires in the United States. Cigarettes are a major fire hazard, and if the homeowner smokes inside of the home, it poses an even larger risk. Each year, there are about 800 deaths from fires due to cigarettes. The most common reason why a fire starts on the property is because the cigarette was not extinguished properly. Also, it usually begins when a smoker falls asleep. This type of fire is more likely to happen at night when everyone in the home is sleeping, which makes it hard for everyone to be able to evacuate. It is important that if you or a family member is a smoker; make sure that nobody smokes in bed. To prevent a fire in the home due to cigarettes, a good rule would be to only permit smoking outside. This will benefit the health of the inhabitants of your home, as well as reduce the risk of a home fire on your lot.
2) Children. Kids of a young age should never be allowed near matches or anything that can hold a flame. When children are young, they may not understand the consequences of their actions, and they are naturally curious about fire. This means that they could throw a lit match on the ground, as they do not know that it will begin a fire on your property. It is important to teach your children that matches and lighters ARE NOT toys and should not be played with. Then, explain the consequences of playing with fire, and teach them the basics of fire safety. If you involve your children with fire safety, they will be much less likely to begin experimenting in the first place.
3) Heating Equipment. Heating equipment can be a large risk if you are not educated on how to use the equipment properly. These appliances can start a fire easily if left on for too long. Even a small space heater with a shut-off valve can malfunction. To be absolutely sure that your family stays safe, be sure to only use heating equipment when you are in the same room as the appliance. That way if a malfunction or issue does arise, you will be better prepared and can take care of it in a quick manner.
Fire damage is something that no homeowner should have the misfortune of dealing with, but unfortunately it happens to many residents each year. Taking preventative measures is always a good way to make sure that this does not occur to you and your home. If you do undergo property damage due to fire, it is in your best interest to call in a team of professionals to help you with the process. Fire damage is a serious matter and should be taken as such.