In 2020 there were over 375,000 residential fires, which was a 5 percent uptick from the previous year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. All it takes is one spark to start a fire, which is why it’s imperative to carry home insurance coverage.
Here are some common ways home fires start and tips to prevent such fire hazards.
Kitchen Oven, Stove, or Toaster
Kitchen appliances with heating capacity are a top cause of home fires. Sometimes while cooking, people get distracted by the TV or a phone call. A pot full of boiling water can splash out on the stove’s top and cause something to catch fire. That’s why it’s important to stay focused in the kitchen and not walk away from heated appliances.
Many fires start with a fallen candle that causes carpeting or drapes to burn. That’s why you must be careful with where you place a candle. It should be clear of any space where it can easily be knocked over.
Another way fires can easily start is if someone in the house is smoking and isn’t paying attention to what they’ve lit. If the person leaves a lit cigarette in an ashtray with a window open, the wind can blow the burning cigarette to the floor, and suddenly a house fire is underway.
Barbecues and bonfires are common elements of summer house parties. Just make sure they take place outdoors and that the surface of the grill or fire pit is clean. The flames should be far away from bushes or trees.
Many people use space heaters to complement their HVAC systems for rooms that don’t get enough heat. Set up the space heater in a place that isn’t near walls, curtains, or other objects. Inspect your furnace periodically to ensure it’s in good working condition, and try to limit using the space heater.
If an electrical outlet has too many devices connected, it can overload the home’s circuit. Trying to use more electricity than a circuit can deliver can cause the circuit breaker to shut off. If this safety device fails, it can start a fire. Additionally, when too many cords are plugged into an outlet, it can heat the wires. Worn wiring can also cause sparks to fly. Therefore, regularly get your wiring inspected by a specialist and avoid using extension cords whenever possible.
A fire can occur in your laundry room when you neglect to remove lint from the dryer. The buildup of flammable lint in the lint trap is just one way a fire can start in the laundry room. Another way is if vents, ducts, or filters are clogged. So always check your lint trap and other vents and ducts to ensure they are not blocked or restricted.
Owning a home means you should be responsible enough to carry home insurance coverage and take steps to prevent disasters like fires. Contact us at Reata Insurance Group for more information on securing the right insurance coverage for your home.