Most Common Causes of Residential Fires

A vast majority of house fires start in the kitchen and are a result of cooking accidents. It is very important, therefore, to be prudent and cautious when operating any kind of kitchen appliance that utilizes gas, heat or fire. Routine maintenance and visual inspection of built in appliances like your oven and microwave is a pretty decent method of prevention of residential fires that originate in the kitchen. Also helpful is being aware or the goings on in your kitchen, whether you are the cook or not. Be wary of anything that is left on, and make an effort to mentally check off each thing you have turned on that involves heat, after use. 42% of house fires originate in the kitchen and these fires are the cause of 38% of human injury from fire in their home.

A small percentage (only 4%) of fires starts in the living room or common areas of the home. However, the types of fires that do start here are typically very dangerous and have resulted in 28% of deaths. Similarly, fires that start in the bedroom (7%) cause 25% of home deaths. Furnaces are dangerous if not annually inspected by a technician. In the winter, small, plug-in heaters can also cause residential fires. Make sure when you are using space heaters that they are placed away from loose fabric like curtains or bedding. These and furnaces should both be uncovered and free standing-not touching other items of furniture or clothing and placed out of the way where it will be difficult for them to be knocked about to where they may accidentally make contact with a flammable material.

Inside smoking is the leader in the cause of residential fires and civilian home fire deaths. Most fires start while residents are at home, between the hours of 5pm and 8pm (dinner time). Caution in the kitchen and avoiding smoking inside at night could result in the lessened probability of your house catching on fire!

Flammable liquids and candles are a reoccurring cause of house fires. Flammable liquids like gasoline, solvents and cleaning materials should be kept in a cool, dry storage area, away from anything that might even think about spontaneously combusting into flames. Candles should be carefully maintained and kept away from loose fabric. Never leave a candle burning overnight.

Many fires can be prevented by attentive carefulness but sometimes faulty wiring is to blame. To avoid the cause of fires by poorly engineered electrical wiring, implement regular inspections in your home owner routine.

Fireboxes: Why Have Them and What to Fill Them With

A firebox is something you probably learned about while in elementary school. A fun essay topic reused in kindergarten classes across the nation is, “What Items Would I Save in a Fire?” This is something that is useful for us, as adults to contemplate too. When your house catches fire, there is no telling what the circumstance will be. You may (and hopefully) not be home, to take action to save items which are precious and of significant worth-nonmonetary and monetary alike-to you. A firebox is just what it sounds like. It is a box that is fire resistant and will protect items which are placed within it, from destruction in the event of a fire.

Fireboxes are not difficult to find for purchase and range in price from about $25.00-$300.00. The most basic fireboxes are pretty small, but big enough to store and save documents that are of important nature. A firebox is a great investment for any home owner and is an item that you never want to have use for-but will be of significant value in the event that you do. It is one of those things that you do not want to wish you had, after you realize you needed it, because at that point it is too late and the likelihood of you needing a firebox two times in your life is low.

What sorts of things should you save in the event of a fire? Documents that are legal in nature like marriage certificates, birth certificates, social security cards and insurance policies is a good place to start when considering what you will feel the loss of the most, in the event of a home fire destroying many personal belongings. Dealing with the powers that be, through interactions with government agencies and other bureaucratic departments is something that will not be a welcome distraction on top of all the other logistical issues you will face after a house fire. Do yourself a favor and put into a firebox paperwork and identification that is difficult to replace. Originals of these documents will be safe in a fire box/safe.

Other examples of valuable documents:
– wills
– degrees/certifications
– passport
– medical records (vaccination records)

Family photos are precious, and may have had a place in fireboxes before the time of this mainly digital age. Now, however, it is likely that your photos are stored online or on the hard drive of your computer. A computer back up of your personal networks is a good thing to have in a fire safe but physical photos (unless very old and irreplaceable) may just take up space in a fire box and can easily be saved via more technologically advanced methods.