An accidental fire in the home can cause catastrophic damage, not only to the house but also to your wellbeing. A home is a safe place where family come together after a hard days work to relax, so it is important to make sure that you keep the home safe from hazards for those living within it. Small fires that appear out of nowhere can quickly lead to detrimental consequences, that make for some expensive repairs or even worse, a completely demolished house. There are a few main causes of home fires that are easy to avoid or at least minimise, as well as other precautions such as home insurance providing you with that extra element of cover in the worst-case scenarios.
How To Avoid The Main Causes Of Home Fires
There are a number of ways that an ordinary household item that you use every day can turn into a fire hazard. Most homeowners are unaware that while their appliances may not need testing regularly, they still need to be well maintained and replaced every so often. Some house fires cause minimal damage to the home when caught quickly, but others can ignite further and cause irreparable damage. It is, therefore, vital that you keep on top of your electrical appliances to ensure that you provide a safe environment for you and your family.
As one of the leading builders in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, we know that it is of the utmost importance to design a home and extensions that are electrically safe. The team are thoroughly trained in providing high-quality services to clients, giving them peace of mind that their home is there to protect them. There are many causes of home fires that yourself and the team will need to take into consideration, but the main ones include:
When you think about a fire in the home, your first bet is that it came from the kitchen. With numerous different electrical, cooking and gas items all located in one area, there is a lot that could potentially go wrong. Cooking related house fires are among some of the most common ways a fire starts in the home. One of the main issues that you face with kitchens is that once a fire ignites, not only can it be hard to put out, but it can also be further enhanced through the other appliances within the room. For example, if the gas has been left on, then as soon as you turn the lights on in the kitchen, the spark created within the electrical systems could potentially cause a large explosion.
Fires within the kitchen can often be a result of built-up grease on the work surfaces and stove, which are extremely flammable. Once the grease has ignited, it is extremely hard to put out, making it very dangerous; this can easily be resolved by thoroughly cleaning your kitchen from grease. Hunker has a helpful guide on how to remove grease from the stove in a few simple steps, making your kitchen look cleaner and feel safer.
There are some ways that you can prevent a fire from occurring in your kitchen, most of which will not cost you a penny, only a little time and consideration. When cooking in your kitchen, why not try and do the following:
- Never leave the kitchen unattended if you are cooking, especially if you are cooking with oil or greasy foods.
- Clean your cookware thoroughly after use to prevent grease build up
- Try not to leave portable cooking devices such as toasters and kettles plugged in or switch on. When these appliances are in use, make sure that you remain in the kitchen in case a fire breaks out.
- Regularly clean toasters of crumbs and make sure that portable devices are cool before putting away.
Heaters are with no surprise a likely form of home fires, and can easily be ignited through fabrics blocking the ventilation systems. It is extremely common for homeowners to place their laundry near sources of heat to dry during the colder and wetter months. However, this is extremely dangerous as clothes can catch fire, or can cause the heater to combust and set alight. It is important that you place heaters in areas that are less likely to catch on fire; this means away from furniture and within an open area. When planning your home renovation project, whether it be an extension or conversion, the Go Large team will ensure that your heating systems are located in safe areas, minimising hazards or the risk of potential fires.
Homes with fireplaces that use wood or coal are at a higher risk than others of potential home fires as the flame can easily spit out flickers of fire onto carpets, furniture or anything else around the area. It is important that you take extra precaution if you have a fireplace within your home, such as introducing a fireguard, which is placed in front of the fireplace without impacting the heat dispersing around the room. Not only are fires with coal and wood a danger within the home, but gas fires can also cause damage to your property. Anything from faulty wiring to gas being left on can have a have the potential to cause fires within the home. SF Gate has some helpful ways to troubleshoot issues surrounding gas fires, such as soot build up, to create a safer home.
To avoid danger caused by portable heaters, make sure that you check the instructions and guidance on the packaging of the label of the heater. Within these instructions, you can find how to set up the heater, what temperature it can be set to, and how many watts it will require. Identifying this information can help you to understand how to use your heater and how long you should realistically keep the heater on. The higher the temperature setting the less time you should leave the heater on, as this can potentially cause problems within the device. One of the dangers of having a portable heater is that it can set alight through the internal electrical system as the device gets hotter. For this reason, it is important to have your heating systems regularly checked, so that you can avoid using electrical heaters were possible.
Faulty electrics, whether it is the plug socket or the electrical device itself, are another cause of many house fires. Many homeowners forget to turn off their electrical devices when not in use, from the TV to your hair straighteners. It is important to make sure that you try your best to turn off electrical devices that are not in use, as this will minimise the risk of house fires. With technology constantly advancing, there are now many devices and apps that you can use to turn off your electrical devices as often as possible. Depending on your budget, you could either opt for more expensive devices such as an add-on main central control system, whereby you can turn on and of all electrical sockets around the house, or you can choose a cheaper yet still effective option such as a plug timer. A plug timer allows you to set a time in which the device should stay on; the timer will turn off the electric currency after the set time has been completed.
When electrical equipment is not properly checked, or they become old, they can also cause the socket itself to catch fire. When you pop the plug into the socket, it can cause a spark; in some cases, this can lead on to a fire. Electrical fires are extremely hard to diminish, and it is highly likely that severe damage may be caused, which can be extremely expensive. Using measures to prevent sparking by turning plug sockets off before plugging in or out appliances, as well as the products mentioned, would help you to maintain a safer home. Not only are these appliances safe, but they can also help to reduce your energy usage and, therefore, your energy bills.
A house fire that is likely not to be covered under your insurance are those caused by smoking inside the home. Not only is it a hazard for your health, but it can also be a significant hazard for your home. While you may think you have put out a cigarette, the butt of the cigarette can still ignite fires when dropped onto clothing, furniture or carpet. It is always advised that if you are to smoke at home, that you make sure you are outside and well away from the door. Not only will this prevent fires, but it can also stop the smell coming into the home and clinging onto your furniture.
Another common home fire that may not be under your home insurance are those caused by candles. When the open flame is left, it has the potential to be knocked over; this most commonly happens during the night, and is one of the reasons why it is extremely dangerous to leave the flame alight when asleep or not in the room. If you are using the candles for a soothing aroma to fall asleep to, then we would advise that you try a safer form of relaxation. This can easily be achieved through salt lamps, or even light up candles.
Create A Safer Home
House fires can have a detrimental impact on your home and family life, and while you can take as many precautions as possible to try and prevent a fire occurring, it can sometimes be completely out of your control. One of the many ways in which you can protect your family is by creating a reliable home through trustworthy, experienced and professional building services. When you opt for a company that has little to no experience in providing a qualified team member to complete electrical work during the building process, you risk potential fire hazards and further problems in the future. It is important to make sure you do your research before having work completed on your home, ensuring that you can trust the contractor you have chosen.
If you are interested in home refurbishments or house extensions in Buckingham or within the surrounding area, then please feel free to contact the team. Go Large has extensive knowledge in not only planning and building on properties but also ensuring that qualified personal are providing the services that clients require.