Summer is almost here which also means that it will be peak season for fire-related accidents.
At Fire Tech, we work with contractors to make sure that Maryland, DC, and Virginia homeowners are protected from disastrous home fires by arming them with the best residential sprinkler systems. However, we urge our customers to stay aware of the danger posed by fire, and to prepare themselves for the worst-case scenarios. The best way to do this is to know the most common causes of home fires and to take the proper precautions to prevent them from starting.
Here are some top reasons why fires start:
More fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. If you leave the stove burning for an extended period, there’s a chance that something could pop or splatter, leading to a large fire more quickly than you might expect. Always keep an eye on what you’re cooking and keep flammable oven mitts and rags a safe distance away from open flames. If you’re grilling, make sure you’re doing it outside and at least 10 feet away from your home. If a fire occurs in your kitchen be sure to extinguish it quickly and with the proper materials. Remember to never add water to a grease fire, as this will make it spread faster. Instead of using water, smother the fire with a cloth or douse it with baking soda to quickly extinguish the flames.
If you or anyone in your home is a smoker, be sure that you are smoking in a ventilated area and make sure you are wide-awake while doing so. Use deep ashtrays and avoid puffing in places that make you feel tired, like your bed or favorite recliner. When possible, step outside and smoke. When you dispose of your cigarette butts, check that the fire is completely out before leaving it.
When it comes to protecting yourself from electrical fires, common sense can go a long way. For example, having damaged, exposed wires running along a furry carpet is probably not a good idea. If your outlets are loaded with plugs, extension cords, and power strips, chances are you’re putting a lot of strain on your electricity. When in doubt, call an electrician, especially when you notice dimming lights or frequently blown breakers. Avoid do-it-yourself electrical projects and pay attention to detail when it comes to what is connected where. Consider using cable ties to separate your cords and keep them from getting tangled with each other.
Candles are a great way to release calming fragrances into your home and also provide ambient lighting, but be sure that you are responsible. If you burn candles at home, make sure they are securely placed away from flammables and clear of any foot traffic. Don’t forget to blow them out if you leave home or go to bed.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the majority of structure fires in homes caused by play were started by males (83%). Forty-three percent of the fires were started by a child under age 6. Older children were more likely to start outside fires, with two of five (38%) of all outside or unclassified fires started by a child between the ages of 10 and 12.
Keep an eye on your kids and educate them about what a risk it is to play around with fire.
Arson, while much less accidental, is another human cause of fire. Arsonists tend to start fires in the bedroom most often, using trashcans as a quick method to get them started.
Christmas trees are a symbol of celebration and holiday cheer, but they also pose a significant risk of fire, especially when we wrap cheap strands of lights around them. Look at the lights before you put them on, and make sure they are properly plugged in. Also, make sure your tree has enough water, as a well-hydrated tree will better resist catching fire. This can also be used for house plants. If your house plants leaves become too dry they can become a fire hazard. Be sure to spray them too keep them healthy, hydrated, and flame-resistant.
After you have taken all the proper precautions to ensure your home is fire-safe, take the final step by installing a fire sprinkler system. You never know when disaster may strike, and it is important to be prepared before it becomes too late. Fire Tech Residential Sprinklers specializes in residential fire sprinkler systems in Maryland, Washington DC, and the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. With a variety of sprinkler heads we can match your design needs and budget. Contact us today to see how we can make your home safer for you and your family.