What are the Most Common Causes of House Fires?

Historically, over forty percent of all house fires (annually) occur as a result of overheated pots or pans and splattered grease. They cause over 150,000 house fires in the United States each and every year. At Restoration Now!, we realize that a house fire can be one of the most devastating things to happen to a homeowner.

Residential fires cause over eight billion dollars of damage every year. You can prevent your home from becoming a part of this statistic, first (of course) by following our tips and by installing smoke alarms. Nearly two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors.

Below, our smoke and fire restoration team has compiled some tips to help you avoid the most common causes of house fires.

Overheated cooking equipment tops the list

It only takes seconds for a fire to start, especially when you’re cooking with oil or with high temperatures. Be sure to stay in the kitchen and keep any combustibles like dish towels or paper towels well away from heat sources. If you must leave the kitchen, set a timer to remind yourself that you have food that needs to be checked.

Maintain your heating equipment

At Restoration Now!, we often receive smoke and fire restoration service calls due to lack of maintenance by a homeowner. Heating equipment accounts for over 15 percent of house fires annually. To protect yourself from house fires caused by furnaces, chimneys and portable heaters, please schedule annual inspections of your furnace by a qualified technician. You will also want to have your chimney cleaned and inspected before use. Remember, keep portable heaters safely away from anything that may burn, like curtains or furniture.

Inspect your outlets often

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounts for approximately six percent of house fires annually. Loose or frayed cords and plugs can get hot enough to literally melt the insulation off of a wire and then catch on fire. The same applies to outlets that are overloaded with plugs. Never run electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture. At Restoration Now!, we recommend routinely checking the integrity of all the electrical cords and plugs in your home, as this will help prevent the devastation of a fire.

Never fall asleep while smoking

First, designate your bedroom off limits for smoking. When you do smoke, use large, deep ashtrays and never put an ashtray on or near anything flammable. A cigarette butt can smolder for hours before it actually causes something to ignite into flames. It’s worth noting that careless smoking causes over 18 thousand house fires annually, which is only five percent of total home fires, but it’s the deadliest, accounting for over 25 percent of fire deaths.

Clean your dryer lint trap once a week

Almost fifteen thousand house fires annually are caused by clothes dryers. Clean the lint trap on your clothes dryer after each use and make sure to clean up around the back of the washer and dryer to prevent the buildup of lint. Having a clean lint trap can also help your clothes dry more quickly.

Be smart with candles or go flameless

Flameless candles are more popular than ever. Believe it or not, candles cause over 10,000 house fires each year. Nearly three percent of house fires are caused by candles. When you use candles, be sure to keep them in a sturdy holder, on a level surface and blow them out before you leave the room. Also, keep them away from anything flammable, like curtains or decorations. Lastly, please keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

Be especially careful of flammable liquids

Flammable liquids like solvents, thinners, adhesives, fuels, cleaning agents and paints can ignite if they are improperly stored, sometimes from just a spark of static electricity. Always store flammable liquids away from any source of heat, preferably outside of the home in a cool, ventilated area.

Contact Restoration Now! Omaha for Fire and Smoke Restoration (402) 502-7277

If your home has been damaged by fire, here’s what our Omaha Restoration Now! team will do for you. First, we will secure the building and ensure its structural integrity. If needed, we will remove and store your belongings off-site during clean-up. Then, we will begin the cleaning process by removing debris, and saving as much of your property as we possibly can.

If you have any questions at all about how to handle a fire, or why Restoration Now! is the right choice for fire and smoke damage restoration, please call or contact us today. We’d love to help restore your home to a comfortable and safe environment!