Firefighters say an early April fire just west of Springfield was caused by a space heater. Do you have a space heater or some other hidden danger in your home that could make you the next victim of a fire? Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your home safe by preparing for these common house fire causes.
Don’t let the fact that your grill is outside fool you into thinking your home is safe. Keep it well away from your siding or other flammable materials to avoid melting and heat created fires.
You also need to clean your grill regularly. A grease buildup in the wrong place could spark a sudden explosion of flames or cause your grill to malfunction.
Indoor Cooking Accidents
Take care in your kitchen as well. The only thing that should go on your stove is things you intend to cook. Never store towels or other flammable objects on top of your stove.
If you ever have a kitchen fire, remember that it’s probably fueled by grease and that pouring water on it can make it worse. Use a kitchen fire extinguisher instead.
Unattended Portable Heaters
Space heaters create a fire risk because they create a large amount of heat using a large amount of electricity in a small space. While you can still use them to provide supplemental heating for your home, you should never leave them unattended.
A space heater that’s knocked over by a child or pet can easily fall onto a flammable surface. To prevent these types of accidents and to avoid fires from normal operations, be sure that your space heater is well away from rugs, curtains, and other flammables.
Candles also present an obvious fire hazard if they’re tipped over or fall as they melt. Like space heaters, candles can serve a useful purpose in your home, but you should never leave them unattended. This includes when you’re sleeping even if you’re in the same room as the candle.
Clogged Dryer Vents
When lint builds up in your dryer vent, the hot air coming out of your dryer may be enough to set it ablaze. If you’re diligent about cleaning your lint trap, you’re off to a good start, but you’re still not doing enough.
Small pieces of lint can still get by into the ventilation tube and start to build up. To prevent this additional hazard, you need to clean out the entire length of the vent at least annually.
Overloaded electrical outlets are another potential source of heat created fires. This could come from the wiring heating up the insulation in your walls beyond its burning point or from exposed wires setting off a spark.
The general rule of thumb is one device per outlet. If you have to use power strips or keep tripping your circuit breakers, you need to have an electrician add capacity. Also, ask about AFCI outlets to help prevent overheating and GFI outlets to help prevent shocks around water.
Improperly Stored Flammables
Active heat isn’t the only potential fire source. You also need to take care when storing flammable items like paints, solvents, and other liquids.
Never pile up rags soaked in these flammables. Heat or a sudden spark can cause them to combust. If you need to store flammable liquids for later use, only use approved containers, and make sure they’re tightly sealed.
For more fire safety tips or to find out if your insurance will cover your losses from a fire, contact Tagge Insurance today.