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No home fire just happens. There is always a cause, and causes can be prevented. That is the major focus of home security and safety experts when speaking on the issue of fires in the home. Home security alarm systems are an excellent way of detecting a fire after it’s under way, but they’re not designed to actually prevent a fire from happening. That’s where you come into the equation. Human intervention and preparedness will continue to prevent countless fires that might otherwise have started.
So, what are some of the leading causes of home fires? Cooking and cooking-related incidents account for more than half of the home fires in America. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), 55% of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. Did you know:
Fire departments in the United States respond to an average of 6,600 home fires per year in which a microwave oven is involved in ignition. These fires cause an annual average of three civilian deaths, 110 civilian injuries, and more than $22 million in direct property damage.
Cooking equipment fires are the leading cause of home fires and associated civilian injuries. These fires accounted for 40% of all reported home fires and 36% of home civilian injuries. Burns from cooking oil and extremely hot cooking equipment lead the way.
Twelve percent of the fires occur when something that could catch fire was too close to the cooking equipment, often an open flame on a gas stove or BBQ grill.
57% of reported home cooking fire injuries occur when victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
Thanksgiving is the peak day of the entire year for home cooking fires.
None of this probably comes as a huge surprise, but it certainly points out the need to be extra safe in the kitchen and when grilling in the backyard. Clothing is flammable and it doesn’t take but an inattentive second to catch a sleeve, apron or oven mitt on fire when working with gas ranges.
During the cold winter months, heating equipment is another leading cause of home fires. Some easy-to-follow safety tips can help prevent fires of this type in your home and in the homes of your loved ones. Consider these:
When buying heaters for your house or apartment, look for devices with automatic shutoff features.
Any gas-fueled devices in your home must be installed with particular attention toward ventilation. Don’t ever put unvented gas space heaters in bedrooms or bathrooms.
Never leave space heaters on when you leave the room for any extended period of time. Space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, and should contain an automatic shut-off mechanism should the heater ever tip over or otherwise become unlevel.
Never use extension cords with space heaters. These types of heaters often demand a large amount of electricity, and the current they draw could melt the cords and start a fire.
Professionally installed home security burglar and fire alarm systems like the ones monitored by ADT home security, are worth the investment countless times over. However, they can easily be defeated by lack of attention to safety around your house. Be conscientious of home security and safety and gain the peace of mind you and your family deserve.