For homeowners in Mesa and throughout the state of Arizona, house fires remain a serious threat. But knowing the most common causes of house fires can help you prevent them.
Consider the seven most-common causes of house fires in Mesa homes.
1. Cooking and Baking in the Kitchen
Cooking and baking (but in particular, cooking on the stovetop), is the number one cause of fires in the home. Often, homeowners set something up on the stove, leave the room, and completely forget about it. Soon, they’re smelling smoke, and all of a sudden, they have a kitchen fire on their hands.
To prevent fires like these, always stand near where you’re cooking, and never leave it unattended. As an extra preventative measure, make sure that flammable materials like cooking utensils, oil, towels, and oven mitts are far away from your stove.
2. Portable Heaters
Portable heaters or space heaters can be used to provide extra heat in chilly areas of the home or when it’s especially cold outside in the winter. But keep in mind that these are extremely dangerous appliances and need to be used with care.
To keep your home safe, always give a space heater at least 3 feet of clearance in all directions. Likewise, keep it far away from people and animals, curtains and draperies, bedspreads, furniture, and anything else that could catch fire.
3. Electrical Problems
Electrical fires are quite common as well. Make sure that any appliances, cords, plugs, or plug extenders are in good working order. Cracked or frayed cords can easily create sparks and fires.
Also, make sure that you only plug in appliances that are in use, keeping circuits open as much as possible. Overloaded circuits with multiple plug extenders, extension cords, and power cords attached to them are fires waiting to happen.
Any open flame is going to be a fire hazard in your home, including candles. If you do decide to use candles, however, taking a few extra precautions can make them safer.
In particular, keep them at a distance from anything flammable, and never leave them unattended. Make sure that children and pets stay away from the candles as well, and never use candles in your bedroom.
5. Lint Build-Up in Dryer Vents
Another thing you need to keep your eye on at home is your dryer vent. Dryer vents continually have hot air running through them while also building up with lint over time. This buildup of lint can easily catch fire, causing flames that can’t easily be dealt with. To prevent this, check your dryer vent periodically and clean it out when needed.
6. Outdoor Cooking
Just as indoor cooking can be unsafe and cause fires, so can outdoor cooking. Often, people use their grills too close to the home, which causes siding on the house to melt and turn into flames.
To reduce the likelihood of this occurring with your grill, always grill at a safe distance from your home or any building. Likewise, keep your grill clean as a dirty grill can lead to abrupt and out of control flames quite quickly.
7. Flammable Liquids
Lastly, make sure all flammable liquids in your home are kept in a safe location. This includes paint, stain, paint remover, and other flammable solvents.
As the final note, when using these liquids, never soak rags or paper towel in them and leave them in a crumpled up pile or toss them in the garbage. These piles of solvent soaked rags have been known to spontaneously combust, causing serious fires that can overwhelm your home in seconds.
Understanding what exactly causes fires in the home can help you pinpoint steps you can take to prevent fires. If you have questions about fire prevention measures for your home or about home insurance, contact our team at Jarosch Insurance.