Fire Damage in the Home in Winter -Most of us spend our time inside throughout the winter longing for the warm weather to return! We run our homes in overdrive during cold weather. The more time we spend indoors, the more chances there are for a house fire to occur. The National Fire Protection Association claims there are more than 360,000 home structure fires each year, resulting in about $6-8 billion dollars in damage.
Some causes of home fires happen to be more prevalent during winter months, we at ServiceMaster Restoration by the Griffin Company would like to share with you some common reasons for home fires.
The U.S. Fire Administration identifies cooking as the leading cause of house fires and injuries all year long, including throughout the winter months. More people are cooking indoors more often during cold weather. Prevention is key to keeping a safe home:
- Never leave the kitchen or hot appliances unattended while cooking.
- Keep paper products, towels, potholders and other flammable materials away from the stove.
- Clean your stove and oven often to avoid grease build up.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove while food is being prepared.
Without the smell of fresh air gliding throughout our homes, many of us often turn to scented candles to spruce things up a bit. Aside from the aroma, you may simply use them to decorate for the holidays. There were an estimated 8,200 candle fires reported from 2012-2016, with December being the peak time of year for them to occur.
Falling asleep was a factor in 11% of the home candle fires. Be sure to extinguish all candles before heading to bed at night, and never leave the room with any candles burning.
Three of every five home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle. Candles should be placed at a minimum of three feet from combustible materials such as your Christmas tree and/or decorations, curtains, blankets, etc.
In 2014 alone, smoking materials such as cigarettes, pipes, and cigars caused an estimated 17,200 home fires in the U.S. Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths in America.
- The warmth of your home may be tempting to smoke in during cold weather but avoid smoking indoors at all costs. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms and dens or in bedrooms.
- Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches and other smoking materials away from children, either high out of reach or locked in a cabinet.
- Always use a sturdy, deep ashtray to put out smoking materials. Never discard your cigarette in vegetation such as plants, peat moss, mulch or anything else that can ignite easily.
- Before you toss butts and ashes, ensure they are completely out. Douse them with water or sand to be certain..
- Dryers & Washing Machines
There are nearly 3,000 dryer fires reported each year that cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. Most dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.
Most dryer fires start because homeowners fail to clean the dryer. Buildup of lint and other materials often cause dryer fires because the unit cannot release heat appropriately. All that buildup becomes the fuel to a very dangerous fire.
To prevent dryer fires, clean lint filters every time you use the dryer. You should also have your dryer vent and duct work professionally cleaned once a year. In the interim of those cleanings, frequently check your vents and duct work to ensure nothing is getting backed up. Make sure someone is home and awake while the cycle is going.
We at ServiceMaster Restoration by the Griffin Company hope this information was helpful. This information was gathered from the Rockford Mutual Insurance Company Website. Please remember that we are here 24 hours a day when water or fire damage happens in your home. Our team quickly and professional handle these damages to your home. We are located the Mobile and Baldwin Counties and surrounding areas in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Please visit our website at www.servicemasternow.com to learn more about us and our services.