Any residential building can catch fire from careless use of equipment and appliances to leaving any burning material unattended like candles or cigarettes anywhere inside the house. In 2020 alone, Las Vegas recorded a whopping 113° in July and August. It is during these months that houses are more prone to fires.
Fortunately, you can perform preventive measures to avoid this event from happening. And the first thing that will help you is to know the most common factors that make your house a fire hazard. Here are the top seven things to note that will help you be more cautious.
#1 Faulty Wiring
Did you know that aside from being a top fire hazard cause, faulty wiring at home is also a top silent electrical problem? Here are some signs that will help you recognize if you have faulty wiring at home:
- Lights flicker or dim out if you plug a device or appliance.
- Some power plugs work well, while others do not.
- You need to replace fuses frequently.
Sometimes, homeowners tend to miss these signs. If you are not knowledgeable about electrical wiring, make sure to have your wiring system checked by a reliable electrical contractor in Las Vegas.
#2 Smoking Inside Your House
Smoking inside the house can be dangerous, mostly for health reasons. But did you know that it is also a big fire hazard when done in bedrooms?
Yes, smoking in the bedroom should be prohibited. Why? A tobacco or cigarette butt that is not disposed of properly can still cause a spark or flame. It is because even though they appear fine, they may still light up anything flammable for several hours. When it touches flammable materials, such as the curtain, furniture, books, and carpets, it when actual flames start.
Did you know that three-quarters of fire fatalities in the country were from fire incidents that started in the bedroom?
#3 Unattended Cooking Equipment
Unattended cooking equipment like ovens, fryers, and stoves can overheat and lead to a fire. Such situations happen when the home member starts to cook and leave the equipment unattended for various reasons.
#4 Unchecked Electrical Equipment
When you disregard the maintenance of your electrical appliances or equipment, such as a toaster, an old speaker, or an electric fan, a fire can begin from a frayed cord. Moreover, adding more electric appliances in a single plug using adapters and extension cords can cause a fire from overloading.
#5 Missed Maintenance of Heating Systems
Furnaces and other heating systems need at least a yearly inspection to ensure that everything is working well and that there are no leaks. Missing out on the yearly maintenance makes your home at risk of unforeseen problems within your heating system. Moreover, if you have a portable heater, make sure that it is at least a meter away from flammable materials, such as clothes, books, magazines, curtains, and laundry.
#6 Candles Left Burning Unattended
Candles are pretty decorations at home. They make rooms look more cozy and warm. But if you opened one (or more) and left it unattended, candles can easily start a fire. Even soft winds can blow a book page, a piece of paper, or a ply of tissue into the candle flame, which can cause a full-blown house fire.
#7 Unstable Light Fixtures
Lampshades and light fixtures can start packing up the heat if they are too near light globes. Sometimes, lamp bases can cause fire risk because they are not fixed properly and can be easily knocked over. Also, downlights installed in wood paneling can be a hazard, so make sure to check if they are insulated.
How Can You Prevent These Fire Hazards At Home?
According to a reputable electrical contractor, fires commonly happen in houses with unmaintained electrical and HVAC systems. Remember that your home is where your life is. And destroying the wonderful memories there because of negligence is not worth the disaster and is actually preventable.
While you cannot control everything, here are some useful tips to help you lower the risk of a fire incident in your home.
- Let a professional electrical contractor in Las Vegas regularly check your electrical wirings.
- Ensure that all your family members are properly educated and reminded about smoking inside the house. If unpreventable, allot an area for smoking. Still, be strict to let them know that smoking inside rooms is not allowed.
- Ensure the cleanliness of your cooking equipment, including the oven and stove. Aside from leaving your cooking unattended, small particles left in the sides could cause combustion and eventually lead to fire or gas explosion. Again, NEVER leave your cooking food unattended when.
- Have your HVAC, particularly your heating system, be regularly inspected by a reliable HVAC provider to assess if all wirings are not damaged and air filters are clean. Also, they have to confirm if your space heater is located away from flammable materials, especially gas lines.
- Check if your smoke alarms are working. You can push a tiny button for testing. If the beep is weak, then it means you have to replace the batteries as soon as possible.
- Be cautious when using candles. As much as they are pretty to look at, especially during special occasions and holidays, blow it off before leaving the room or drifting to sleep.
- Practice regular inspection and maintenance of cords and lights. Damaged cables can cause big house fires. If you found anything damaged, have it replaced immediately.
- Purchase fire extinguishers and place them strategically around your house. Put one in your kitchen, near the barbeque area, and your bedrooms. Teach every family member how to operate the extinguisher.
- Store flammable liquids, matches, and candles in a secure place away from children. Children tend to become curious, which could end tragically.
- Educate your family member on what to do in case of fire. Post a reminder on the emergency numbers to call somewhere that they can easily see. Aside from knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, have a mini fire drill at home so that they know where to go to exit the house safely.
Losing a home to a house fire might be one of the most disastrous incidents that anyone can experience. As it is a preventable occurrence, make sure to remember about the fire hazard mentioned above and start taking action to ensure your and your family’s safety.