Top five causes of a house fire
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By Taylor Wren
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), who is also the sponsor for Fire Prevention Week and has been for the past 99 years, announced this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 3 – 9) is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.”
To double-down on Fire Prevention Week, we should consider taking a look at other things around our homes that are also important. Our homes are sacred places where we keep our most valuable possessions, the most important being our families.
According to the NFPA the top 5 causes for fires in your home are cooking, heating equipment, electrical, smoking, and candles.
■ Cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires. The open flames from the stove top, extreme temperatures from the oven, liquids splashing out of the pot or pan are all factors that could cause a fire. Never leave the stove unattended while cooking, inside or out.
■ Heating equipment is found in many homes during chilly and cold temperatures, but can be very dangerous. Always be sure to keep curtains, clothes, bedding, children’s toys and any other flammable things away from your heaters. Try to remember to unplug heaters when they are not in use and to teach children to stay away from them even when they are not in use.
■ Electrical fires actually have an entire month dedicated to them. May is National Electrical Safety Month, an annual campaign sponsored by the Electrical Safety Foundation Inter-national (ESFI). It’s highly recommended that you have all your electrical work done by a qualified electrician. A few tips to help prevent these types of fires are to clean your lint filter after every load and to allow your dryer to complete the [cool down] cycle, replace any and all frayed cords and replace faulty appliances.
■ Smoking should always be done outside. Most deaths result from fires that were started in the living room, bedroom, den or family room. These fires start and spread quickly.
■ Candles cause an estimated 18,000 house fires each year. Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. This time of year, a lot of candles are burning so we can enjoy the fun and festive fall scents, but be cautious. Trim the wicks to keep the flame down and make sure you blow them out before bed.
An estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year, let’s avoid it being your home. Share your concerns with family members, friends and neighbors. Fire safety is very important and should not be taken lightly. Let’s enjoy our holidays and decorations without devastation from a house fire.