Fires spread quickly.
Whether it’s in an outdoor setting or happening at home, fires are dangerous.
If an accident happens, it will put the lives of you and your loved ones at risk, and likely cause costly damage to your home. If a fire should occur, try to remain calm (as much as possible), act fast to get your family out of the house, and, most importantly, call the fire department once you are safe.
Witnessing a fire can leave you paralyzed and unable to act, leading to bodily harm or death. This puts fire in the 27th place on the top 30 list of biggest causes of death worldwide. This is why it is important to fireproof your home, making yourself more ready to react in case of a fire hazard.
Unsupervised Kitchen and Overheated Oil
Kitchen fires are among the most common causes of residential fires - never leave your pans on a stove unattended. Have you ever watched YouTube videos where clumsy cooks try to fry food and then get their kitchens in flames in mere seconds? That happens because oil can get overheated quickly, and then it gets highly flammable.
If it starts to burn, never pour water over a pan as water sinks to the bottom of the pan and then quickly evaporates, causing the flames to spread. One way to manage overheated oil is to place a wet cloth over it. But if you’re afraid, you should call the fire department before it is too late.
Appliances as a Fire Hazard
Burning oil is not the only thing that can be a source of fire in your home. Cooking and other appliances can cause an electrical fire in the kitchen.
According to the USFA Electrical Fires Report, electrical fires frequently occur throughout the US, causing injury, claiming lives, and resulting in substantial property losses.
It's essential to do proper maintenance of all appliances in the house, not just in the kitchen.
Be careful about how you use appliances, and where you place them. For example, don't cover heating appliances with fabrics, as they might overheat due to lack of ventilation and become a source of the fire.
Before using an appliance, make sure that the cord is not damaged, as it can lead to a short circuit and cause a fire.
Also, don't use damaged extension cords or wall sockets. It's best not to attempt to fix those on your own if you are inexperienced.
Call a qualified electrician to fix anything electricity-related in your home.
Cigarette Fires Kill Thousands
Almost 1,000 people are killed yearly by cigarette fires, making it the leading cause of home fire deaths in the US.
If you are a smoker, it is best to smoke outside your home; Although, many people smoke indoors, despite the risk.
You should be extra careful around throwing cigarette butts away or falling asleep with a cigarette in your hand. If it's not completely put out and you happen to drop it on the floor, it can ignite a fire that will spread over the carpet, furniture, and curtains at a rapid pace. The whole room can be in flames in seconds.
The same can be said about throwing them on the ground outside. Say you live in an apartment and you’re on the third story and you throw your cigarette out your window or patio. That cigarette could land on your neighbors’ patio below or some other kind of material and ignite a flame.
If you don't have an ashtray at hand and want to smoke, you can use a metal can and fill it with sand or water for extra caution. Don't leave ashtrays or cans on furniture or the floor, as they can still be hot from the cigarette butts or ashes. Also, don't throw ashes in a plastic trash can before they cool off completely.
Candle Flames Can Be Dangerous
Candle fires are another potential fire hazard in the house, especially during Christmas time. Families are gathering, tables are set, drinks are served. It’s easy to relax and forget to pay attention to the flames of a candle.
However, accidents can happen. It is best never to leave a candle unattended and blow it out before leaving the room. Keep it out of reach of children, as they can accidentally drop it on the floor, or touch it and get hurt, or knock it over.
Also, keep a watchful eye on pets if they are allowed indoors. They could unpredictably run all over the room, and their tails could catch fire - getting them hurt and spreading it everywhere in seconds. Additionally, you should always keep candles away from potentially flammable nearby items.
If you like candles but are worried about an open flame, and it's too much of a hassle to always keep an eye on it, you can try using realistic flameless candles instead.
Thinking about fires in and of itself is scary, it can be even more frightening to witness a fire happen in your home. Knowing the most common ways a fire in your home can start will help you stay informed on how to avoid potential fire hazards. This will allow you to have more control and feel safer in your home.