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What’s The Most Common Causes Of Fires in Homes?

House fires are not the more enjoyable topic to think about, but they are a possibility that must be addressed from time to time. The National Fire Protection Association has reported that as many as 400,000 fires occur every years throughout the United States. This clearly means that house fires are definitely not something that we can simply overlook.

Because most fires cause us to have our most valued possessions put at risk, the old adage “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” is the best approach to take. It is important to take precautions that could prevent the most frequent causes of home fires, and the best way to do this is by first learning how you could accidentally start a fire.

According to the most recent National Fire Protection Association report the following were the most regular causes of fires in the house:

Cooking Fires

This is the number one cause of all fires in the home, which accounts for 42% of all incidents. The open flames coming from the stovetop combined with the intensive heat of the oven can easily result in a fire if left unsupervised. Most often it is typically food or cooking tools that catch on fire and control is lost quickly.

While stopping cooking altogether might be taking things a bit far, paying more attention and making a point of never leaving the kitchen with any appliances running is an easy way to greatly reduce the risk of a fire starting.

Christmas Tree Fires

It is a winter holiday tradition all around the world for families to bring large trees into the home to celebrate a favorite holiday. Unfortunately, Christmas trees can become a significant fire hazard quite easily. The combination of dry trees and long strings of lights can quickly become fire sticks.

Before setting a tree up in your house, you should cut off the bottom inch or two from the bottom of the tree trunk, as well as remove any dead wood that could prevent any water from being soaked up into the tree.

Care must be taken to be sure that you are watering the tree enough to keep it hydrated. It is also a good idea to turn off any Christmas lights at night before going to bed for the night. If you really want to avoid this risk there is always the option of going with an artificial tree you can purchase in stores.

Smoking

Smoking is a major source of of countless house fires, resulting in approximately 1,000 deaths every year. Accidentally dropping a lit cigarette or cigarette butt on any of a number of household items could quickly turn into a large inferno.

The only significant way to avoid this risk is by smoking outdoors at all times.

Candles

It is estimated that candles cause around 18,000 fires in the house every year.  The majority of these incidents are the result of negligence. Leaving a candle that is lit unattended could easily turn into a fire. This can be compounded if there are any of several flammable materials located in the general vicinity of a candle as they can easily catch fire.

You can reduce the risk a candle provide by trimming the wick of the candle to limit how big the flame can get. Otherwise you could switch to using electronic candles.

Appliances, Heaters and Children Playing with Fire

Other common causes of home fires are the overuse of appliances in general, systems for heating the home, and children playing with fire.

Appliances that are overused or faulty can easily cause a fire from just a few sparks. Heating systems, specifically wood stoves and space heaters can easily ignite household materials nearby.

A young child’s natural curiosity can also lead to starting dangerous fires. Playing with matches, candles and lighters led to over 56,000 fires between the years 2005 and 2009. Making sure that these items are kept out of the reach of children and educating them on the importance of fire safety will help mitigate the risk.

Additional Tip: In the event that a fire does occur in the home, a fire safe for the home will be a valuable tool for keeping important documents and precious valuables protected while you are focusing on the well being of your family.

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