Too often the news reports a home that has been reduced to rubble or flames that have destroyed countless possessions. Home fires are one of the most devastating losses to a family because there are so many memories, heirlooms, possessions, and other irreplaceable belongings.
Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of home disasters in the country, claiming the lives of hundreds who die in their homes as the result of fires, and injuring at least 1,500 additional people every year. There are several causes to electrical fires, but the three most common are wiring issues, cords, and electric stoves.
Electric stoves cause more than half of all electrical fires in America. The vast majority of these fires are not caused by malfunction, but rather user error and careless looking. An electric stove and/or a portable heating unit together cause approximately 53 percent of home fires and are responsible for most residential fire injuries and deaths.
To prevent portable heater and electrical stove fires, use caution while cooking and always stay in the kitchen when the stove is on. Never leave cooking unattended and always have a fire extinguisher nearby. Keep all fabric, clothing, curtains, and other flammable materials at least three feet away from any portable heater and teach children to stay away from portable heating units.
Incorrectly installed wiring, wiring problems and “fixed wiring,” such as faulty electrical outlets and old wiring is the second leading causes of electrical fires. In addition, home appliance misuse and poor maintenance contribute to the electrical fire statistics.
Together, these two causes of electrical fires account for 49,000 fires, hundreds of deaths, and $670 million in property losses. In urban areas, however, problems with extension and appliance cords are the primary cause of home electrical fires.
It is crucial to routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring, any appliances, or cords that appear old, cracked, frayed, or torn should be discarded immediately. Keep electrical appliances away from wet areas such as floors and counters and never force a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
In addition, properly maintain the smoke detectors in the home and ensure they are in working order. Studies show that having a working smoke detector will dramatically increase the chances of you and your family surviving a fire. Teach your children about fires and prepare and practice a home escape plan.
Always take preventative measures to protect your home as much as possible. To cover you against the unthinkable loss of a home fire, make sure you have recently updated your homeowners insurance coverage, and update your homeowners inventory to be sure you have adequate coverage for your needs.
By Matt Reynolds - Google+