The Top Ten Fire Hazards in Your House and How to Fix Them

There are a million ways to die, but did you know that two of the top ten ways are from home washing machines and dryers? Between 2010 through 2014, US municipal fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines. There were 13 civilian deaths, 440 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage from those fires.

The leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires (one-third of all fires) involving clothes dryers was the homeowners failure to clean lint from the vents or machine. The other top hazards on our list:

Fire Hazard: Cooking

The top home fire hazard in America and much of the world actually, is the kitchen. Leaving food to simmer or cook while youre out of the room, fat spatters, and a variety of normal cooking events, including cooking while intoxicated, can result in a fire.

Solution: Dont leave any food unattended while cooking, even if the stove is only on warm. You can find a full fact sheet of other cooking and fire tips to watch for as well.

Fire Hazard: Candles

Candles are a two billion dollar item in America. We all have them and 7 out of 10 of us use them. Whether we use them for birthday cakes, mood setters, light, or warmth, they are in our homes. As warm and inviting as they are, according to the National Fire and Protection Association, theyre also the cause of 2% of home fires. During the five-year period between 2011 and 2015:

Candles caused 2% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires.
Roughly one-third (37%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 36% of the associated deaths and 51% of the associated injuries.
Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 21% of the associated deaths.
On average, 24 home candle fires were reported per day.
More than half (59%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 12% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

Solution: Never leave candles unattended, especially if you have pets. Dogs and cats are curious and often get close enough to candles that their tails or fur catches on fire. They then run throughout the home, spreading the fire. Use flashlights, not candles for power outages. Extinguish taper and pillar candles when they get within two inches of the holder or decorative material. Votives and container candles should be extinguished before the last one-half of an inch of wax starts to melt.

Fire Hazard: Portable Heaters

Heating equipment, whether portable heaters or furnaces are the cause of half of all home fires.

Solution: Keep anything flammable, that includes your kids and pets, at least three feet away from any heating equipment whether its a cookstove […]

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