Preventing Fire Damage in St. Paul
According to the National Fire Protection Association, US fire departments respond to an average of 346,800 home structure fires every year. At ICC, we specialize in fire damage so we are more aware of how common house fires really are here in St. Paul. We want to help you be prepared for anything that can happen, and for any type of fire damage that could occur, so we are going to share the statistics of the most common causes of house fires across the country and what you can do to take the necessary precautions in your home.
- Cooking is the most common cause of house fires every year across the country, accounting for 50% of all house fires. With such a high prevalence, it is so important to be cautious in the kitchen so you don’t become part of that statistic. The combination of highly flammable objects and high heat and temperatures used for cooking makes the kitchen an ideal place for fires to ignite and thrive. The single best thing you can do to prevent fires from starting in the kitchen is to be attentive. Never leave cooking food unattended, or hot appliances on when you are not able to monitor them. Neglect in the kitchen can result in more than just burnt food – you could end up with fire damage. Consider storing a fire extinguisher somewhere near the kitchen that is quick and easy to access in case a small, contained fire does break out. Also, keep stove tops and cooking appliances clean and remove excess build-up from surfaces that are exposed to heat. When crumbs, drippings, and other build up are left inside ovens or microwaves, or anywhere else that has a heat source, they can become flammable. Do not store or place flammable items next to heat sources while cooking, and be sure to turn off appliances when no longer in use. It may seem like a lot, but being extra cautious in the kitchen and taking those extra steps to be attentive and safe can help prevent fire damage – which is extremely overwhelming.
- The second most common cause of house fires each year is attributed to heating devices. When space heaters are being used, be sure that no objects or items are too close to them. Allow for at least 3 feet of clearance or more, depending on manufacturer’s guidelines, to prevent fires from occurring. Never leave space heaters on when unattended. Wood burning stoves and chimneys need to be kept clean and be serviced at least twice a year to reduce the risk of fires that result from obstructions or buildup. Also, do not burn anything other than dry wood in wood burning stoves. Again, having a fire extinguisher on hand in the home can help to impede major fires. We know it is important to keep your home warm and comfortable, but it is even more important to keep it safe from a potential fire so be extra attentive to heating devices that are being used in your home.
- The third most common cause of fires, while it may seem harsh, is carelessness. Unintentional fires caused by careless are far too common, and always preventable. Mistakes happen, and accidents occur, but negligence with potential fire sources and hazards is something everyone can work on and become more diligent about. When it comes down to it, what may seem like an inconvenience of attending to lit candles, heating sources, cooking food, or even storing lighters and matches in safe places are actually not inconveniences at all when compared to the inconvenience of fire damage.