House fires cause enormous amounts of damage and suffering every year, and there are various preventative measures that we must take to try to minimise these damages. Having working smoke alarms situated in the correct locations of your house is a legal requirement, although we should also practice our home fire safety plan several times a year to ensure we can successfully escape should a house fire ignite. Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blankets are effective firefighting tools which are also recommended by fire experts to have in susceptible areas of your house in order to extinguish small fires before they intensify, saving a lot of pain and grief.
Unfortunately, house fires can ignite from a multitude of causes and can happen when you least expect. For this reason, it’s crucial that everyone understands where house fires are most likely to ignite so they can take extra precaution with certain household equipment and devices. To give you a better understanding of how to protect your family from fires, here are the most common causes of house fires.
- Cooking Fires
Cooking, or grease fires, are the most common cause of household fires, where cooking oils or fats are overheated and eventually catch fire. Typically, these fires happen when cooking is left unsupervised which highlights the importance of never leaving the kitchen when cooking, especially around children. They are also very dangerous since there is a common misconception that water will extinguish a cooking fire, but in fact the water only splashes the fire to other areas of the kitchen. The most effective way of extinguishing a cooking fire is by using a Fire Blanket.
- Heating Devices
Portable heating devices are another common cause of household fires. It’s important to remember to keep these heating devices at least one metre away from any flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, rugs, and clothes. Also, never leave children or pets unsupervised around heating devices. If you have a fireplace, remember to get a proper inspection once a year and always use a fire screen.
Not surprisingly, cigarettes are a common cause of house fires and proper care should be taken when smoking. Avoid smoking in the bedroom since this is an area where you’re susceptible to falling asleep and supervise smokers who may become drowsy (from medication or alcohol). Always use a large, deep ashtray that is a safe distance away from flammable materials.
- Electrical Equipment
Anything that conducts electricity has the potential to catch on fire. Therefore, it’s important that you check electrical appliances regularly for damaged or frayed cords and plugs and ensure your electricity sockets and extension cords aren’t overloaded. Fire experts recommend that you have safety switches on all electricity sockets and never run electrical wires under rugs or furniture.
While candles look and smell fantastic, create a romantic ambience, and save electricity to boot, they are a fire hazard and certain precautions should be taken when using them. Always keep candles a safe distance from flammable materials such as books or curtains and never leave a room while a candle is still burning. Lastly, keep candles out of reach from children and pets.
- Curious Children
Children are naturally inquisitive so any device that causes fire, namely matches and lighters, should be kept in a safe place that is inaccessible by children. It’s important to educate children on the dangers of playing with matches and lighters along with the devastation that house fires can create.
To ensure you are protected as best as possible from house fires, it’s strongly recommend that you have an ABE Powder Fire Extinguisher on each level of your home along with a Fire Blanket installed at the entrance of your kitchen. ABE Powder Fire Extinguishers are multi-purpose and will effectively extinguish most types of house fires, except cooking fires where Fire Blankets should be used instead. If you have any further questions about how best to protect your family from house fires, get in touch with the experts at King Fire Protection Solutions on