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Destroyed room with exposed roof.Fire Restoration, Prevention, and Common Causes of Fire Damages

Preventing fires and recovering from fire and smoke damages quickly.

Common Causes of Household Fires – Fire Restoration

ServiceMaster of Boulder and Westminster is well known for providing fire restoration to households throughout the greater Boulder County and North Denver Metro area.

It’s typical to vision careless smoking and children playing with matches or lighters as the most likely causes of household fires. But that is more often not the case.

Fire and Smoke Damages Prevention and Causes

Many of the fire damage restoration incidents we work on arise from everyday items, appliances and equipment found throughout the home catching on fire—space heaters, stoves, clothes dryers and even Christmas tree decorations to name a few.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common causes of household fires and offer simple tips on how you can better prevent them.

Cooking Equipment – Stovetops and Ovens

Leaving a pan unattended while cooking, frying food in oil on high heat and cooking with paper towels or oven mitts too close to a burner, are all common causes of kitchen fires. What’s more, cooking related accidents are the number one cause of household fires. As such, we often receive requests for kitchen fire restoration services.

There are several simple things you can do to avoid these unfortunate accidents. Always stay in the kitchen while grilling, broiling or frying, as most incidents occur when the cook leaves the room or gets distracted. If you’re simmering or baking, turn on a timer to check the food often and never leave the house. Keep all items that can catch on fire away from the range or stove top.

Because kitchen fires are common, we’ve included information to help you better understand the elements of fire restoration should this mishap happen.

Heating Equipment — Space Heaters, Furnaces and Fireplaces

Home heating equipment, from fireplaces and chimneys to furnaces and water heaters, is the second leading cause of household fires. Space heaters alone account for 33% of the fires in this group.

We enjoy a warm and comfy home during the coldest months of the year. But be cautious – at ServiceMaster of Boulder and Westminster we see an increase in incidents requiring fire restoration services caused by home heating equipment during December, January and February. In fact, this is when half of all home heating fires occur.

To prevent fires, keep at least a 3 foot distance between heating equipment and anything that can burn, including furniture and window treatments. Have a professional inspect central heating equipment annually. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned once a year as well. And remember to turn off a space heater when leaving the room.

Appliances — Washers and Dryers

Washing machines and in particular clothes dryers are another familiar source of fires in the home. Lint can build up in the filter or venting system and ignite. In fact, failure to clean lint from the dryer continues to be the major reason why it catches on fire.

Fire restoration and prevention experts recommend the cleaning of lint traps before or after every laundry load. Additionally, the venting system should be inspected regularly to insure the air exhaust vent pipe is not clogged and the outdoor vent flap works properly.

Always be sure to turn off the washer and dryer when leaving the home. Incidentally, the risks associated with dryers are the same for both electrical and gas powered units. Maintain these appliances to keep them operating properly.