In recognition of Fire Prevention Month, we’ve prepared a thorough guide for all the information you’ll need on what causes a fire, how to prevent it, and what to do if it strikes your home. Follow along, and you’ll be a fire prevention expert in no time!
Although fire prevention and preparedness can make the difference between disaster and safety, emergencies happen. Trust PuroClean of Central Southwest Houston as your go-to expert on fire and smoke damage restoration. As the “Paramedics of Property Damage™,” our highly trained technicians have the equipment and experience to get you through critical times.
The Top Reasons Behind Fires
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), over 350,000 house fires happen annually. The causes are usually traced to the following culprits:
Cooking. Making meals can pose a significant fire prevention risk. The latest statistics from 2017-2021 show that cooking is the primary cause of home fires, accounting for 44% of incidents.
Candles. While they add ambiance to a setting, approximately 7,400 home structure fires were caused by candles from 2015 to 2019. These incidents resulted in an average of $291 million in direct property damage yearly.
Though cozy, candles are a fire safety hazard, causing significant property damage annually.
Heating. Our portable space heaters and other heating equipment can lead to fiery disasters. According to statistics, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 44,210 fires involving heating equipment annually in 2016-2020, accounting for 13% of all reported home fires.
Smoking. Smoking, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, is a significant cause of home fires. According to U.S. fire departments, smoking materials caused an estimated 16,500 home structure fires in 2016.
Electrical. From 2015 to 2019, electrical distribution and lighting equipment caused an annual average of 32,620 home structure fires. Electrical fires topped the list for property damage, with $1.3 billion in direct property damage yearly.
Fire Prevention Tips
Thankfully, a fire is something you can prepare for. Use the following fire prevention tips from the NFPA as a handy guide for keeping your home safe from the potential threat of a blaze.
- General Fire Prevention
- Have a fire extinguisher installed in your home.
- Change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months. Test them monthly.
- Be on the alert! If you feel fatigued or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Do not leave the kitchen unattended while cooking food.
- Place flammable items away from the stovetop.
- Extinguish a candle flame when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Keep candles at least one foot away from flammable items such as fabrics and upholstery.
- Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- If you smoke, do so outside.
- Store cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet.
- Before discarding cigarette butts and ashes, ensure they are completely extinguished. To do so, douse them in water or sand.
- Ensure you have all electrical repairs done by a qualified electrician.
- Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use.
- AFCIs (arc-fault circuit interrupters) shut off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. They’re your first line of defense for fire prevention.
What to Do If a Fire Happens
In the aftermath of a fire emergency, it’s essential to abide by the guidelines set by the American Red Cross to ensure your safety and minimize harm.
- Call 911 immediately.
- Provide first aid if necessary, ensuring you cover burns to reduce the risk of infection and further injury.
- Let your family and friends know you’re safe. Communication is crucial.
- Seek immediate medical attention for severe burns or other injuries.
- Refrain from entering your home until fire authorities declare it safe.
When you’re safe and recovered, contact your insurance company to notify them of your fire emergency. They’ll guide you through the steps to proceed from there.
Your safety comes first. Take the time to check for injuries and call 911.
Your Next Step? Find a Professional
After a fire, contact a professional for fire and smoke damage restoration. With their expertise, they can work with your insurance and prioritize your safety and your property’s integrity.
Only a professional has the necessary equipment and know-how to restore your home correctly while adhering to all regulations. But the question is, who should you call?
When fire prevention fails, contact a professional for your restoration needs.
Call PuroClean of Central Southwest Houston for Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Today!
At PuroClean of Central Southwest Houston, we understand that disasters can disrupt your daily routine in an instant. If you require expert assistance in restoring fire and smoke damage, our team is at your service around the clock, seven days a week. For fire and smoke damage restoration in Houston and the nearby areas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (832) 856-5900.