Common Fire Hazards That Can Be Found in Your Home
No one likes thinking about the possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for a multitude of Americans.
One way you can help protect your home is by understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them. In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common household fire hazards.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a 5 year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles. In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
Candles caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent of those fires resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December being the prime time of the year for home candle fires.
Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.
When burning a candle, be sure it’s kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home and always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.
While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths.
An estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported in 2014 due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage per the Coalition for Fire Safe Cigarettes.
If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.
Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out and keep in mind that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that can be present in your home.