Recent fires in the Phoenix area may have you wondering about the risks of a fire in your own home. Do you know where house fires are most likely to start? Keep reading to discover the causes of most house fires and tips for fire prevention.
Preventing Kitchen and Food Prep Fires
Your kitchen is where you cook, and it’s where most house fires can start, so keep the following in mind:
- Never leave the kitchen when cooking. It might only be for a few minutes, but that’s still an opportunity for a fire to start–and that’s when most do.
- Be extra careful when frying foods. Grease fires can start easily and spread quickly.
- Keep all flammable materials like towels and loose clothing away from flames.
If you like to grill outside, take caution:
- Keep your grill a safe distance away from your house.
- Clean your grill regularly and remove fat and grease.
- Always grill on a stable, flat surface.
Preventing Laundry Room Fires
The dryer in your laundry room has two elements that can start a fire: lint from your clothes and heat. Regularly inspect your dryer and perform these tasks:
- Clean your lint filter after every load.
- Clean your dryer vent and pipe often or at least every 3 months. Over one-third (34%) of dryer fires start by failing to do this.
- Inspect the outside vent opening for lint or any other debris.
Preventing Electrical Fires
Electricity is another common cause for fire, especially in older homes that have old and outdated wiring. Here’s what you can do to help prevent afire from starting:
- Check for worn or frayed wiring, which can cause a spark and start a fire.
- Your electrical box and breakers may need to be updated, as they may not trip if a circuit is overloaded.
- Your electrical outlets may be old and should be updated to newer AFCI and GFI outlets.
Don’t forget to consider all the appliances that are using electricity in your house:
- Check your light bulbs to make sure they are the proper wattage for the appliance they are used on.
- If you have older appliances, consider replacing them with newer ones.
- If you use a space heater in the winter, be sure you keep at least 3 feet of clearance around it and that it’s secure on the ground so it won’t be kicked over.
Preventing Fires Caused by Flammables
The garage is where some of the more dangerous flammable liquids are found. Gasoline, paints and paint thinners all emit dangerous fumes that can literally add fuel to a fire. Make sure they’re:
- Stored at room temperature.
- Stored in the proper containers and capped securely.
- Kept out of reach from children.
As for flammables in your house:
- Rubbing alcohol and nail polish may be in your bathroom. If you spill any, use a rag (not clothes or towels) and then properly dispose of them outside the home.
- Lighters and matches need to be stored in a safe place out of the reach of children.
- If you burn candles, make sure you’re burning them away from any flammables such as tissue boxes or books or paper. Never leave a candle unattended. Blow it out when you leave the room.
You’ll find there are plenty of things to pay attention to in your home to help prevent a fire, but with a little time and effort, you can reduce your risks. And to make sure your home is protected from potential losses, review your insurance policy’s fire coverage with your agent.