One of the biggest fears that homeowners may have is fire destroying their house. Fire can spread in a matter of minutes and can be electrical or chemical, depending on the cause.
Here are some common causes of residential fires and what you can do to prevent them. If you do have a fire at your central Florida home located in or around Plant City, Lakeland, or Winter Haven, True Builders can help you assess and fix the damage.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the top cause of residential fires and fire injuries. Over 65 percent of those home cooking fires begin when cooking materials or food is ignited, and most of that comes from ranges or cooktops.
In one-third of those fires, unattended equipment was the reason for the fire and half of the deaths associated with home fires.
When it comes to kitchen fires, preventative measures are vital. Cooking should never be left unattended. Do not leave anything near the stove such as an oven mitt or hand towel that can easily catch fire.
One thing you need to check is to see if your mattress was made before 2007. If it was, chances are that the mattress manufacturer did not follow the guidelines set by the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. Smoking can be a factor in starting a house fire, and if smoking occurs in the bedroom, chances for a fire increase with mattresses, bedding, carpet, clothing, and other flammable surfaces.
In the same vein, using candles in the bedroom can also lead to a fire. About 37 percent of candle-related fires began in a bedroom, according to First Alert.
We don’t have too many cold days here in central Florida, but on those days, it may be tempting to put a space heater close to the bed to keep warm. Make sure that a space heater is placed far enough away from flammable items that it won’t catch any of them on fire. While using space heaters or other electrical appliances, also ensure that you do not overload outlets.
Many homes that were made more than 20 years ago have older outlets and outdated wiring that were not designed to support the number of appliances and electronics we use today, such as video game consoles, microwaves, HD televisions, and more. It’s tempting to add on extension cords to plug everything in conveniently, but using extension cords for long periods of time can also end up causing a fire. The same goes for power strips—make sure those are being used safely.
Inspect appliance cords regularly. When cords become frayed and worn, they can start a fire pretty quickly.
Many of the items we use regularly, such as yard tools like lawn mowers, edgers, and leaf blowers, are powered by gasoline and may also need motor oil. There are probably also other cleaning chemicals in your garage. Make sure these are properly stored and that they don’t get too hot. If you’ve used any rags to clean them, either dispose of them safely or wash them.
If your dryer vent hasn’t been cleaned out in a while, then it’s time to get that checked out. Dryer lint is a big cause of fires that originate in the laundry room, as the heat from the dryer causes the lint to ignite. It’s recommended to only run your washer and dryer when you’re home and able to quickly address anything that could happen.
We work with many clients across the central Florida areas of Plant City, Lakeland, Winter Haven, and other communities. We have helped them restore their homes after a fire struck. Give us a call at (863) 647-1800 to set up an estimate.
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