We’ve discussed different causes of fires before. As a fire damage restoration company, we know a lot about what causes fires and how to prevent them. While our business is in restoring homes and buildings after a fire, we want everyone to be safe. We want you to be able to prevent fires from devastating your home. So we put together a list of the 6 most common causes of house fires and how to prevent them.
The kitchen is one of the most common places for fire damage due to the nature of heat used in the room. Grease fires are common and pose a unique threat that many may not know about. Placing water on a grease fire has the opposite effect many expect, it actually fuels the flame. This type of fire damage can occur in a flash and can result in devastating damage if not handled properly.
Preventing grease fires is as simple as being mindful of what you have cooking with oil on your stove. If you have a grease fire, do not throw water on it as it will only fuel the flame. If this occurs, you will want to turn the source of heat off and smother the flame.
Luckily, if the flame is small enough to contain inside the pot, throw the lid over it. Otherwise, to prevent further fire damage, you may have to sacrifice a blanket or thick towel to help smother the flames. A chemical fire extinguisher can be another solution to stopping grease fires. Baking soda also may be able to calm the fire, as long as you have enough.
Electrical fire is another very common source of fire damage for homeowners all across the United States. The most common form of this fire damage comes from faulty wires. Either plugged into a socket or hidden behind the walls of a home. Electric fires can occur when too many items are plugged into a socket or if the wires begin shorting. Regardless, electrical fires have a similar smell of burning plastic or styrofoam.
If you smell an electrical fire, it is best to turn off your power from the breaker. This will give you time to locate the source and figure out what needs to be done to prevent further fire damage. Baking soda is another great way to smother the flame. It is recommended to avoid using water as it can cause further damage to the socket.
To prevent this type of fire be aware of overloading outlets and sockets. If an outlet is running with all plugs utilized and is pumping constant power, this is when an electrical fire may occur. Spread the wires out to different sockets/outlets or unplug unnecessary items that aren’t in use.
Though candles provide lovely scents and set an atmosphere, they are also capable of great fire damage. If a candle is left unattended, it can cause a fire that will shatter the glass holding the wax in and spread. Most candle brands also have flammable waxes that can exasperate the flame.
When putting out a candle fire, it is recommended you do not use water. Water can cause the wax to spread and help fuel the flame with that. The best method of putting out a candle is to use a candle snuffer or place the lid over the glass. If the fire has broken out, a chemical fire extinguisher can help as well as sand, baking soda, or flour.
Space heaters are a very popular winter item for Michigan homes. These devices are small, affordable, and can fit nearly anywhere. Leaving them on for long amounts of time may result in a fire. This can be caused by the heater itself overheating or from it causing too much heat on a flammable surface, like clothing or a blanket. This type of fire is typically classified as a Class A fire.
Class A fires occur to wood, fabric, or plastic and are typically the easiest fires to put out. These fires can be put out by using water or a fire extinguisher. If the space heater itself catches fire, you may want to try to turn off the heater and smother the flame to prevent water damage.
Smoking-related flames are another common type of fire damage in Michigan. These types of fires can occur when an ashtray becomes overloaded and a sparked ember catches onto something. It can happen if you leave an item lit and unattended. Luckily, these fires are also rather easy to put out and can be done with water or an extinguisher.
The best way to avoid this type of fire is to simply be sure you put out your lit smoking materials and clean your ashtray out frequently.