Far too many homes contain multiple fire hazards, and unfortunately, some of those hazards may not be evident. Each year, over 13,000 Twin Cities homeowners suffer a residential fire, and many of those incidences could have been prevented with proper attention. At Kiser Construction, we know dealing with the aftermath of a house fire can be devastating. To help you avoid fire damage restoration and keep your loved ones safe, we’ve outlined five of the top home fire hazards and how you can fix them.
It’s no coincidence that the coldest months of the year also happen to be peak season for residential fires. Portable heaters, one of the top wintertime fire culprits, can be highly hazardous when left unattended, which is clearly evidenced by the 25,000+ heater-related home fires each year.
The Twin Cities are notorious for wildly fluctuating weather conditions, so if you use a space heater now and then, it’s critical that you watch it closely. Keep these cautions in mind the next time you crank up your portable heater:
● ALWAYS turn the heater off before heading to bed. We also recommend unplugging the unit for added safety.
● Only place portable heaters in well-ventilated spaces.
● Leave a minimum of three feet between the heater and any surrounding objects.
● Periodically test the thermostat control to ensure proper functionality.
If you also use central heat, we recommend having an annual system inspection. Though HVAC systems aren’t major fire culprits, it’s still important to test them for proper operation each year.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the leading cause of house fires and fire restoration, so if you’re a budding chef, listen up. Any time you have food cooking on the stovetop, remain in the kitchen until you turn off the stove. NEVER leave a stove unattended, especially if you have a gas-fueled unit. If you must leave the room—even for 30 seconds—turn off the stove. It takes a mere moment for a fire to start, and no home cook is immune.
Damaged appliance cords also present a fire hazard, so be sure to routinely examine each appliance cord in your kitchen for signs of wear and tear. If you notice fraying, exposed wires, discoloration, burn marks, or melting, unplug that cord immediately, and contact a repair specialist.
Even a well-contained fire can set your home ablaze if you don’t watch it diligently. Open fireplaces are especially hazardous because sparks frequently fly and logs can easily roll. If you enjoy using your open fireplace, ALWAYS be sure to use a spark screen and never leave the flame unattended. If you own a wood-burning stove, be mindful of the flue setting, make sure you close the door fully, and routinely remove ashes.
Smoking cigarettes indoors is the leading cause of home fire deaths in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. If you currently smoke inside your home, now is the time to move your ashtray outdoors. Always be sure you extinguish cigarette butts completely and NEVER toss them in a trash can. Ideally, you should toss used cigarettes in a jar of water to make doubly sure they’re no longer burning.
Unless you love the idea of fire damage restoration, NEVER leave a burning candle unattended! If you must leave the room, blow out the flame—no exceptions. As well, avoid placing candles near flammable items and be sure there’s plenty of open space for ventilation. If you love the ambiance candles offer but don’t want the fire hazard, you can opt for flameless, battery-powered candles as a safer alternative.
Kiser Construction: Your Trusted Source for Twin Cities Restoration Services
At Kiser Construction, we’re committed to helping Twin Cities homeowners restore their property when fire, water, and storms take their toll. We know dealing with the aftermath of a home disaster can be overwhelming, and we’re here to help take that burden off your shoulders. When you need a compassionate, knowledgeable team to restore your home and work with your insurance, we’re the team to call. To learn more about our emergency restoration services, feel free to give our team a call at 763-633-2010 or reach out to us on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch!
If you’ve experienced a home disaster and require immediate assistance, we encourage you to contact us on our 24/7 emergency line at 612-518-8852.