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9 Fire Hazards in the Home

Many home owners don’t usually think about the fire hazards within their home. But if any were to cause a fire, they find themselves deeply regretting not knowing about them. In fact, these flammable materials are all around your home and can cause severe destruction if not used properly.

This is not to say that you need to get rid of them right away, but simply know how to take care of and use them properly. Whether you are cooking food in the kitchen or burning candles, being aware of all hazards is key to preventing them from destroying your home.

Fire Damage Restoration

While some of us are around to put out the fire before it occurs, others are away from the property when it happens. If a fire has already occurred within your home and the flames are extinguished, don’t hesitate to call your local fire damage restoration company.

Even after the fire is out, the flames will continue to spread throughout the structure and even affect new surfaces. This makes it essential to call right away. ServiceMaster Restoration Services is available 24/7 in the Omaha, NE area to provide emergency fire and smoke damage restoration services, cleaning all smoke and soot residue from the affected surfaces. Don’t hesitate to give us a call as soon as you find the damage. But in the future, keep these fire hazards in mind to prevent it from happening again.

1. Cooking

Commonly known as the number one cause of house fires, it is absolutely crucial that you do not step away from the stove, oven, or any heat-related appliance for any time. Here is what you can do to ensure the safety of yourself and everyone on the property:

  • Keep small children and pets away from the kitchen.
  • Turn pots and pan handles inwards to prevent knocking into them or having them grabbed by kids or pets.
  • Wear tighter-fitting clothing and roll up your sleeves if you have them.
  • When using oven mitts, paper towels, cooking utensils, or hot pads, keep them away from hot stove tops.
  • Make sure that the vents in your microwave are clear and allowed to “breathe.”
  • Do not place any metal or foil in the microwave.
  • Always keep a small fire extinguisher that is easily accessible in the event of a kitchen fire.

2. Electrical

The topic of electrical is so broad in the home. This refers to appliances, wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, lighting, and heaters. It is crucial that all appliances, systems, and lighting are in proper working condition and that nothing is overloaded. Accidents can happen even when you are not at home, making them the most destructive at all. Here are some important safety tips to remember:

  • Replace all damaged wiring, fuses, light bulbs, and appliances.
  • Don’t overload any outlets or circuits.
  • Consider scheduling an annual inspection of your electrical system from a licensed electrician.
  • Consider having additional circuits and outlets set up from a licensed electrician to avoid using extension cords.

3. Candles

While many individuals know that they should never leave a burning candle unattended, they are often forgotten or the person falls asleep. As soon as the flames make contact with a flammable surface, they will easily spread and cause significant amounts of destruction within the property. But to safely use and enjoy that amazing smell wafting from the wick, keep these tips in mind:

  • Blow out all candles before you leave for any period of time, even when going to the bathroom.
  • Do not use candles in the bathroom.
  • Keep the candle at least one foot away from flammable materials, such as wood, carpeting, and plastics.
  • Don’t burn a candle down to the remains of the wick.
  • Use candles or candleholders that won’t collapse or easily tip over.

4. Heaters

While these fabulous machines can work miracles in the winter time, they are extremely dangerous. At any time they are put in close contact with materials that can easily catch on fire, such as blankets, clothing, curtains, and other fabric, it won’t take long for a fire to start and spread. Just remember the following tips when turning these machines on.

  • Keep anything that can burn at a safe distance (at least 3 feet) when using the space heater.
  • Turn off all space heaters before going to bed,
  • Allow a licensed electrician to inspect all heating equipment annually.
  • Test each smoke alarm every month.

5. Bathroom Electronics

You may not realize it, but bathroom electronics are also a common cause for fires. From curling irons to electric razor chargers, we forget to turn them off when leaving. Often times they are forgotten, leaving them plugged in after straightening or curling hair. While many of these devices now have safety features in which they will automatically turn off after 2 hours, a fire can still occur before then. Here are some ways to prevent fires in your bathroom:

  • Always turn off razors, hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, and all other hair products before leaving the bathroom.
  • Never burn candles in the bathroom.
  • Don’t cover a curling iron or straightener with a towel or any other fabric.
  • Because hair dryers use so much electricity, don’t plug in anything else when using it.
  • Never run the water when using any electronic devices in the bathroom.

6. Washing Machines and Dryers

While these appliances can make life a lot easier, they come with their own drawbacks. Don’t forget that they will require regular cleaning in order to keep them in working condition. This will also prevent any blockage, therefore, fire hazards. Follow these maintenance tips to continue using them safely:

  • Remove the lint from the dryer filter after each use to continue allowing proper air flow.
  • Ensure that the outdoor flap is working properly and air is able to flow freely through the exhaust vent pipe.
  • Never overload your washing machine or dryer and always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

7. Smoking

We all know that smoking can be a hard habit to get out of, but doing it in the house puts everyone’s personal safety at risk. At any time there are burning ashes or a lit cigarette falls on carpeting, the burning butt combined with smoke and carpet fibers can easily start a fire. But if you must smoke, please adhere to the following:

  • Always go outside before smoking.
  • Use sturdy, wide ashtrays.
  • Douse all cigar and cigarette butts with water or sand before throwing them in the garbage.
  • Always keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  • Teach children that if they see a lighter or matches, to bring them straight to an adult.

8. Fireplace

There’s nothing like getting cozy to a warm fire. But these heating spaces can also be one of the most dangerous fire hazards when not cleaned or used properly. Especially during the holidays, smoldering wood and ashes can pop out onto the carpet – it won’t take long for a flame to start. Not to say that you shouldn’t use your fireplace, but just keep these safety and maintenance tips in mind.

  • Schedule an annual chimney and fireplace cleaning from a professional. Make sure that all creosote is removed.
  • Always cover the fireplace with a mesh metal gate or glass to prevent any burning sticks, ash, or sparks from flying out.
  • Never burn any dried, cracked wood, rather, use moistened cedar in a closed fireplace. It splits and burns nicely.
  • Never re-use burnt wood, replace it with a new set.

9. Holidays and Christmas Trees

There’s nothing like the sight of a burning fire and candles, a lit Christmas tree, and the smell of baking cookies in the oven. But it always seems like the best features pose the highest risk to personal safety and fire damage. But during the holidays, unfortunately this is always the case. Keep these safety tips in mind to avoid a holiday disaster:

  • Turn off the Christmas tree lights before going to bed and when leaving the house.
  • Be careful to avoid overloading outlets and circuits with additional holiday lights.
  • Don’t forget to turn off the oven after baking.
  • Be careful with turkey-fryers.
  • Remember the fireplace safety tips mentioned above.

Fire Damage Cleanup

While there are many steps you can take to preventing house fires, as shown above, they still cannot always be prevented. Many can happen while you are away from home, such as being at work, running errands, and even on vacation. Fires can start at any time, and many are unexpected. But as soon as you notice a fire of any size, don’t hesitate to call the fire department. Afterwards, emergency fire damage restoration services must be called to avoid permanent damage to your home building structure.

ServiceMaster Restoration Services is not only an emergency restoration provider, but our technicians are available 24/7 and will arrive in the moment you need them most. From cleaning that nasty soot residue off countertops to replacing drywall, we are able to handle all aspects of the restoration project. With years of experience and ongoing training, you can expect our technicians to return your house to its previous condition in an efficient and effective manner.

Content Cleaning and Pack-Outs

Cleaning PhotosBut restoring properties is not the only thing we do. Our technicians understand that many precious items and valuables can be damaged in addition to the building materials. From family heirlooms to expensive jewelry, we can also have them restored with commercial cleaning products within our content cleaning and pack-out services. But if your home doesn’t allow for the proper restoration of these items on-site, we will carefully pack, transport, and clean them at our climate-controlled facility. They can then remain with us until the restoration work on your home is complete. Finally, you can expect both your home and personal contents to be returned to their original conditions after a thorough cleaning and reconstruction job.

9 Fire Hazards in the Home was last modified: November 27th, 2017 by ServiceMaster Restoration Services