Everyone worries about their home catching fire, and knowing what the main fire hazards are is a great way to claim prevention against our homes burning to the ground by accident. Learn the top fire hazards in American homes so you know better how to prevent fires in your home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 85% of fire deaths happen in the home, so it’s very important to know the fire hazards in your house so you can protect you and your family. Cooking is the leading cause of fires in American homes, so never leave a stove unattended, and have baking soda on hand to handle spontaneous and grease fires once they do start. A small cooking fire can burn down a kitchen within minutes.
The second leading cause of American homes house fires is a heating system. These fires are most common in the winter, obviously, because heating units are more frequently used in the colder seasons. Make sure all the heating units are updated and repaired as needed, and have them inspected if you live in a rental by your super, or have a professional check your heating unit every year, to make sure it’s up to par. One little electrical glitch and there could be a fire quickly. Apartment heaters are inspected more often than homes you own yourself, so if you are not renting, especially have your heater checked out. Space heaters pose a threat as well, so never leave one unattended or too close to other objects.
Third in fire hazards for American homes are candles and arson. Candles left burning alone can pop and explode through the glass and spread a fire quickly. Get a flameless candle instead, as it poses less of a risk. As far as arson goes, not much you can do about that- just hope nobody has it out for you. Smoking also poses a huge fire hazard, especially smoking in bed. A friend of mine once melted her entire mattress after a lit cigarette fell out of her hand when she fell asleep. Yikes! Don’t ever leave a burning cigarette unattended, and it’s better to smoke outdoors.
Anyone is at risk from dying of a house fire, but interestingly men die 50% more often than women do, and the people most at risk are the elderly over 70, and children under 5. Also interesting, African Americans and American Indians die in more fires per capita than the national average, as well.
Keep fire safety a priority in your home by never leaving cooking unattended, keeping lighters and matches away from kids, smoking outdoors, getting a fire extinguisher near the kitchen (and knowing how to use it) and having your heating unit checked yearly. Have working smoking detectors in the house at all times, and have an escape plan for your family in the case of a fire. Every year, fire kills more Americans than all other natural disasters do combined, so it’s a very real hazard, and one that can hopefully be avoided with proper awareness.