At Clean Quest LLC, we believe that there’s something to “the more you know”! One of the best ways to prevent fires is to understand what causes them the most. For instance, the top most common cause of fires in the U.S. is from cooking equipment that overheats when people get distracted. Now, with this bit of information, you’ll probably be more attentive the next time you’re cooking—right?

With that thought in mind, here are some other common causes of fires and fire damage that can be easily prevented.

Electrical & Wiring

The scary thing about electrical fires (besides the fact that it’s, you know, a fire) is that they can’t be extinguished with water. Instead, they require special water-free extinguishers. If you don’t have one of these, you’re in trouble. You can try to put it out with baking soda or a blanket, but your best bet is to prevent it from happening altogether. Avoid plugging in too many appliances to the same outlet, and make sure wiring is maintained. Replace any damaged wiring or outlets, and check regularly to ensure that wiring isn’t frayed or worn.

Lightning

Powerful electricity + heat = possible disaster. If lightning strikes your property, you may very well have a major fire on your hands. The worst part is, you can never predict where a bolt of lightning will strike. However, if you live in an area where lightning is common, you should arrange an evacuation plan in order to keep you and your family safe from fires caused by lightning.

Girl with Matchstick
photo credit: public domain via gs-handyman.com

Kids Playing

Kids are fascinated by fire, whether it’s matches, candles, a fireplace, or a lighter. When they get their hands around these dangerous things, disaster can happen in a matter of seconds. Because of this, it’s absolutely critical to keep these types of materials locked away from children. Be very mindful of where you store hazardous fire-creating tools, and guard children against them just as you would guard them against guns. Also be sure that the children you’re responsible for are well-educated in fire safety.

Candles

Candles are relaxing, they smell good, and they’re pretty. AND THEY’RE FIRE MACHINES! Candles may look innocent, but they’re responsible for lots of house fires (more than you’d think, actually) due to being left unattended around flammable items that are often in bedrooms, such as paperwork, books, and tissues. Be sure to never fall asleep while candles are burning, and never leave a candle burning alone in a room. Also make sure that candles are nowhere near flammable materials, such as bedspreads, carpet, and couches.

Heaters

Heaters are also a common fire-starter in homes. Be sure to keep portable heaters at least one yard away from any sort of materials that could easily catch fire like curtains, furniture, laundry, clothes, papers, etc. If you own a furnace, be sure to have it inspected once a year to make sure it’s properly maintained and safe.

Smoking

Smoking may be unhealthy in more ways than one. Cigarettes are one of the leading causes of house fires, and mostly because of the improper way they’re thrown away. Cigarette butts can stay lit for hours and have the potential to burst into flames if they’re surrounded by the right materials, such as papers or furniture. If you’re a smoker, help prevent fires by stamping out your cigarette the right way—or better yet, just don’t smoke indoors.

You definitely never want to find yourself in one of these situations, but understanding the common causes of fire damage can help you prevent a problem before it happens. There aren’t many things more devastating than having your home ravaged by fire, but if you find yourself in this situation, our team at Clean Quest is here for you. We serve Indianapolis, IN, and beyond, providing our clients with the most efficient fire damage restoration services. Contact us anytime at (765) 349-1102