Home, Life Advice

The Most Common Causes of House Fires Each Year

An accidental fire can ignite without warning and spread through a home before you even know what’s happening. House fires affect everyone in a home, and even small fires that are put out quickly can cause thousands of dollars in damages and property loss. Having a good home insurance policy is imperative to take care of damages and property loss.

However, it’s also important to prevent these house fires from happening to begin with. In this article, you’ll find the most common causes of house fires each year, and a little on how you can prevent a house fire from claiming your property and possibly your life and the lives of the ones you love.

Laundry Appliances

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It’s estimated that clothes dryers cause 2,900 house fires every year. Dryers and washers have both caused house fires and, in some cases, deaths. While laundry appliance fires cause fewer deaths than other types of home fires, it doesn’t make them any less scary or the property loss and damage any easier to handle. Dryers cause more fires because dust, lint, and clothing ignite in the dryer, especially if the lint trap isn’t cleaned regularly. Washers, on the other hand, usually catch fire due to electrical shorts. You should always make sure to clean the lint trap in your dryer after every load of laundry. You can also hire dryer vent professionals who will come out, inspect, and clean the vents for you once a year.

Candles

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Candles are another common cause of fires in a home. The open flame can easily be fanned by the wind or knocked over by a pet or child, and before you know it, the curtains are in flames, and you have no chance of putting them out. The fall and winter of the year have more reported candle fires than any other season because people burn scented candles to celebrate the holidays. To prevent fires from happening when you burn candles in your home, never leave a candle unattended when you’re in another room, and never let pets or children around the candle as well. Always place candles on level surfaces in flameproof, sturdy holders, and always make sure the candle is fully extinguished before you leave the room.

Christmas Trees

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In the United States alone, Christmas trees start over 210 fires in homes every holiday season. While no one wants to ruin the holiday season by pointing out how dangerous Christmas trees can be, it bears talking about. Many times, it’s electrical malfunctions with the strings of lights on the tree that cause fires to break out, especially on artificial trees. The problem with live trees is the tree drying out too much, and the lights shorting out and catching fire. Never leave your tree plugged in when you’re not going to be home, and always inspect your string of Christmas lights very closely before you put them on the tree. The same holds for the Christmas decorations and lights you string up outside, as they can short out and cause fires as well.

Kitchen Fires

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The most common cause of fires in the home every year is cooking-related fires. These fires cause around 48 percent of fires in the home each year, with that number getting higher around the holiday season. These fires are often caused by grease that becomes overheated on the stove. Never pour water on a grease fire, and always keep pets and kids out of the kitchen when you’re cooking. Simply cover the grease fire with a pot lid as quickly as possible to choke out the airflow to the flames.

These are just a few of the most common causes of fires in homes. Make sure to follow all safety precautions when it comes to anything that can result in a fire for the safety of your home, yourself, and your family.

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