Preventing House Fires

A red fire extinguisher sitting on a table.

Working in the insurance industry, we unfortunately find ourselves regularly working with individuals who have suffered loss due to a fire. Here are five common causes of house fires, and some simple solutions for preventing them.

Fire Threat 1: Cooking

Many fires occur after putting something on the stove and then becoming distracted. Before you know it there is a fire on the stove which can quickly become very large.

Solution: Make sure when cooking to give anything on top of the stove your undivided attention. “Stand by your pan”! It is advisable to have a fire extinguisher nearby for easy access. Make sure the extinguisher is the type that can put out a grease fire and remember to never use water on a grease fire.

Fire Threat 2: Heating

In our office, one of the leading causes of fire is woodstoves. Typically the damage is a result of a chimney fire which causes heavy smoke damage.

Solution: It is critically important to keep your stove clean and free of creosote. Burn only well seasoned hardwood and make sure the stove is installed to manufactures specifications. Make sure you are using approved metal containers to remove ash.

Fire Threat 3: Smoking

In addition to the health threats, smoking is the third most common cause of fires nationally. (Source: Smokers lose track of the smoldering butts which then come in contact with flammable surfaces such as couch cushions or bedding.

Solution: The best solution is to quit smoking, but in the meantime, take it outside and always dispose of smoldering cigarette remains properly.

Fire Threat 4: Electrical

Faulty or deteriorating electrical cords are another top cause of home fires. Cords that become cracked or frayed can throw sparks which cause fires.

Solution: Inspect electrical cords before using them. Don’t overload an outlet with adapters. If your home still has fuses consider upgrading your electrical system to circuit breakers and remember, never stick a penny in a fuse opening.

Fire Threat 5: Candles

Since they have open flames and are fixtures in many households, candles are also among the most common sources of home fires.

Solution: Make sure candles are not left unattended in a place such as the bathroom. If you have children, an unattended candle is a major source of curiosity. Do not place candles near flammable surfaces such as curtains.

We hope this will be helpful information in helping you prevent fires, but remember if a fire does occur, JD Chapman Agency is here to help you through the claim process.

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