The month of October is Fire Prevention month, and the week of October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week. This is a week that fire departments around the country team up with the NFPA, National Fire Prevention Association, and go into schools to teach children about fire safety, with the hopes that the information the children receive will make it back to the parents and educate them as well. The NFPA is the authority on fire statistics and prevention efforts in the United States.
Although we have come a very long way in fire prevention and safety awareness, and you are less likely to have a house fire than you were decades ago; if you are in a fire, you are more likely to die from it now than you were decades ago. For these reasons, we are going to share with you the leading causes of fire in the home and the best ways to prevent them.
Cooking equipment is the number 1 cause of fires in the home, followed by heating equipment. Annually, there are around 56,000 house fires started by heating equipment, causing over $1 billion in property damage according to the NFPA and resulting in 1 in every 5 home fire deaths. The NFPA has also found that the leading cause of ignition home fires caused by heating equipment is failure to clean. However, the leading cause of fatal home heating fires is improperly placed, or installed space heaters.
According to NFPA statistics, the next most common sources of home fires are faulty electrical and lighting, arson and smoking materials. Nearly 16,000 fires each year are caused by washers and dryers and the majority of those fires are caused by the dryer and the failure to clean and maintain it.
Without proper care, many things in the home can be potentially deadly fire hazards. However, there are simple steps and precautions that can greatly reduce these hazards and keep you, your family, and your home safe from fire.
First and foremost, ? of home fire related deaths occurred due to the absence of a working smoke detector according to NFPA statistics. It is recommended that smoke detectors are placed in each bedroom, outside of each sleeping area, and on each level of the home. Smoke detectors should also be checked regularly to make sure they are working.
Cooking equipment should be cleaned of spilled grease or oil, kept clear of clutter and should never be left unattended. Clean chimneys, vents, ducts and furnaces before heating season and keep clutter and combustibles away from these areas as well as space heaters. Inspect cords and plugs on electrical equipment and dispose of those that are damaged or improper. Also, be sure to keep dryers and dryer vents clean and unobstructed. And always have electrical repairs, updates and additions done by a licensed professional.
Keep these things in mind as we head into home heating season to keep you and your family safe this heating season. If you would like to have your heating ducts or dryer vents professionally cleaned before the heating season kicks into high gear, contact Master Clean of Medford soon, 715-748-3121.