Arizona’s dry weather means wildfires frequently make the news, but house fires are far more common and can have a larger impact on individual families. Luckily, most house fires are preventable. Keep reading to learn more about the common causes of house fires and what you can do to stop them.
Electrical Outlet Overloads
When you plug too many devices into a power strip or overload your circuits, the wiring inside your walls heats up. This can ignite your insulation or set off a spark in an area where the wire’s coating has worn away.
If your home’s outlets and circuit breakers aren’t enough for your appliances and electronics, it’s time to have an electrician add capacity for you. Using ACFI outlets can also help prevent overheating, while GFI outlets can help protect you against shocks from outlets near water.
Never leave a candle to burn unattended or overnight. A child, pet, or vibration could knock the candle over, or it could fall or melt as it burns down. Remember, once you’ve lit a candle, there are already flames inside of your home.
Portable Space Heaters
Portable heaters add warmth to your home, but their combination of heat and high electric usage makes them an especially large fire risk. Like candles, you should only use them when you’re awake and in the room.
Also, be sure to leave at least six feet of clearance from things like upholstered furniture, blinds, and rugs. You should also look for models with automatic safety switches that cut the power to reduce the risk of fire if a child or pet tips the heater over.
Even great cooks can start a fire. The two most common causes are grease and items left on the stove.
Never leave flammable items, like towels, on top of your stove even when you’re done cooking. If you do have a fire, use a fire extinguisher designed for kitchen fires — water can strengthen and spread a grease fire.
You also need to take care to keep the flames from your grill away from your home. Don’t put your grill right up against your house, because the heat can melt your siding or ignite other flammables.
You’ll also need to keep an eye on the wind to avoid having burning embers blown towards your home. If you need to step inside for a second, make sure you close the lid.
Dirty Dryer Vents
Did you know your lint trap isn’t the only place lint builds up? Even if you’re diligent about cleaning it, lint still sneaks into the tube that leads to the outside of your home.
Over time, this lint can build up and ignite from the hot air coming out of your dryer. Keep cleaning your lint trap after every cycle, but also make sure you clean your entire dryer vent from your dryer to the outside outlet at least once every year.
Improperly Stored Flammables
Flammable liquids like paint and solvents also present a fire hazard. You don’t need to get rid of them if they’re useful, but you do need to store them properly.
Only use approved, tightly-sealed containers designed to hold and protect these liquids. If you have any rags soaked in flammables, dispose of them immediately rather than leaving them in a pile that may spontaneously combust.
To get more fire safety tips or to find out if your home insurance will completely cover you after a fire, talk to the Don Neeley Agency in Scottsdale today.