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SDHI – Fire Safety

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In 2015 there were 365,500 house fires resulting in 2,650 civilian deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Simply being aware of the main causes of fires and taking precautions in your home to keep you and your family safe can help prevent many house fires.

Below are the main causes of house fires.

Candles. Candles that are left burning when people go to sleep or when they leave the room or the house can lead to fire. Be sure to always extinguish candles before you leave the room.

Cigarettes. Much like candles burning, a lit cigarette that falls from a hand or falls out of an ashtray can start a fire that can be fatal. Always put out cigarettes when you start to feel drowsy and make sure the cigarettes are fully extinguished.

Overloaded Outlets. When family comes to visit or when you move into a house that has limited outlets, outlets can get overloaded with computers and cell phones and other electronic devices. Overloaded outlets can overheat or spark and start a fire.

Natural Gas Leaks. Natural gas leaks can lead to spontaneous combustion. If you think you have a natural gas leak, leave the house immediately and call in a professional to inspect your home.

Outdated appliances. Everything has a shelf life. Appliances that have frayed wiring, or that have faulty motors could spark a fire in your house. Be sure to update appliances as needed.

Cooking. Especially over the holidays, stove and oven fires become fairly common. People get distracted with guests and forget about food cooking in the kitchen, which can lead to an increase in fires over the holiday season. Be sure to have working smoke alarms in your kitchen and if you are worried about forgetting when to turn off burners, set a timer to remind you.

Dryers. Lint in the dryer exhaust and in the lint tray can lead to fire if not regularly cleaned out. Dryer vents should be cleaned out once a year and lint trays should be emptied after each use.

Keep yourself safe and keep your family safe by checking your home for possible fire hazards. If you are concerned about a home you are thinking of purchasing that may have issues with wiring and outlets, call a home inspector to inspect your home. Otherwise a little caution can go a long way as far as fire prevention.

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