Home fires are unfortunately all too common. Even the smallest kitchen fire can prove to be a huge health hazard to both you and your family. We’d all like to assume that we’re aware of best safety practices, how to remove any fire hazards and prevent fires within our homes, however, there’s quite a few issues that go without notice in a lot of our homes.
We’ve put together a list of five causes of home fires which are either overlooked by the majority of people or, despite their risk being known, still prevalent in many of our homes.
At the most basic level you should be ensuring that all electrical appliances are regularly tested, kept away from any source of water, outlets aren’t overloaded with numerous plugs and that all cables are in good condition. You’ll also need to ensure that your main circuit breakers are working to cut the supply of electricity should there be a dangerously high surge.
In case the worst actually happens and a fire actually starts, make sure that the appliance is disconnected from the power or the power is turned off before combatting it. A powder fire extinguisher is the best option for electrical fires.
Many of us take the appliances that work in the background for granted, barely sparing them a moments thought in regards to efficiency and safety. If you’re using your dryer quite heavily, you’ll need to ensure that the vents are cleaned regularly. It may not seem like a large issue, but the vents can become clogged with combustible materials. These combustible materials can cause a build up of heat and it doesn’t take a genius to realise what combustible materials and heat equals.
Be sure that you’re getting your vents checked and cleaned regularly by a trained professional.
This won’t be a shocking new revelation to many out there. That being said, candles are cheap option for adding to the atmosphere of a room making them a very popular option. A naked flame in the house should always be treated with respect and caution as it poses quite the risk.
Always ensure that your candles are kept on a hard, level surface and away from any flammable materials like drapes. To really make them as safe as possible, use candle holders which firmly hold the candle and if possible ones which will enclose the flame in a glass funnel.
You may be surprised how many flammables the average person keeps in their house (fuels, oils, strong alcohol etc). A lot of these products are far too useful to simply do away with so you’re going to have to be careful on where you keep them. Be sure to store any potentially flammable substances away from sources of heat or open flames.
Having plants in the house can really do wonders at adding a little colour and character to a room. For those of us who don’t have the time to properly look after a real plant, synthetic plants are a great way to get a similar feel with none of the hassle. Unfortunately, a lot of synthetic plants aren't fire resistant so you’re going to have to be very careful in their placement to avoid them going up in flames.
An extra tip would be to watch out for your Christmas tree this year. With the numerous lights adorning our wonderful trees all it takes is a little neglect for the tree to become dry and, well, hot lights and dry wood will make quite a spectacular fire. Hardly a good way to celebrate Christmas.
Home fires are arguably the single most destructive problem caused within the home for many home owners. Make sure that you’re protecting yourself and your loved ones by following the tips in this list. What steps do you take to ensure that your home is safe from accidental fires?
Image - Gabriel Serafini