After a recent Appleton garage fire, many homeowners are asking themselves if they could be next. The answer is that a fire can happen to anyone at any time, but there are ways you can beat the odds. Keep reading to learn more about the common causes of house fires and what you can do to lower your chances of becoming a victim.
One of the most common causes of garage fires is flammable liquids that weren’t stored properly. This could include things like paint, solvent, or gas-soaked rags left piled in a corner. It also includes storing similar liquids in containers that weren’t made for the job.
To stop these fires, use a specially designed container, make sure it’s properly sealed, and dispose of any rags or other contaminated items immediately.
Fires can also start when you use a grill too close to your home. The grill’s heat may melt or ignite siding or other vulnerable surfaces, or burning embers may blow onto your home or surrounding landscaping.
Before lighting it, drag your grill at least six feet from your home, and never leave it unattended.
Dirty Dryer Vents
The number one cause of laundry room fires is dirty dryer vents. This includes not just your lint trap but the entire vent from your dryer, through the tubing, and out into the outdoor air.
To prevent lint buildups that can catch on fire, be sure your lint trap is clean and tightly fitted, and clean the entire dryer vent at least annually.
When you light a candle, you’ve already started a fire. It’s just a question of whether it will spread.
The main hazards are the candle being tipped over or losing stability as it melts down. To help keep your home safe, never use a candle while you’re sleeping or leaving the room it’s in unattended.
The main cause of electrical fires is overloaded outlets and circuits. As technology adds more devices to every home with increasing electrical needs, older homes simply don’t have the needed capacity.
An overloaded power strip or circuit can heat up, cause an electrical arc, and ignite a blaze. If you can’t get by with the outlets you have or without tripping your circuit breaker, it’s time to have an electrician upgrade your wiring. Also, ask about AFCI outlets to reduce the risk of overheating and GFI outlets to reduce the risk of shocks.
Heat and electricity are two of fire’s best friends, and portable heaters bring a lot of both into a very small space. Treat these devices like candles, and never leave them running unattended.
You’ll also need to keep them well away from anything flammable — curtains, blankets, furniture, etc. Even if they’re placed properly, many fires start after they’re tipped over, so keep a close eye on children and pets, and look for models with automatic safety cutoff switches.
The kitchen is another place in your home where you unintentionally start a fire and need to control it carefully. Start by keeping towels and other flammables away from your stove at all times to avoid spontaneous combustion from unexpected heat.
Also, keep a kitchen-approved fire extinguisher on hand. Remember that water makes grease fires worse, so never use it on a kitchen fire.
Want to learn more about how to protect your home from fires or if you have enough insurance coverage to help you recover from a fire? Call Thiel Insurance Group today.