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Safety Preparedness: Tips to Prevent In-Home Fires

The terror of witnessing one’s home and possessions surrendered to flame is not something people like to consider, yet fires in the home are very real and must be defended against.

Dangers of In-Home Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 350,000 and 400,000 house fires happen every year, resulting in almost $8 billion in annual damages.

During those fires, an estimated average of 2,560 people die and 11,670 people are injured annually.

Common Causes of In-Home Fires

  • Cooking accidents are among the top causes for in-home fires. They caused 50% of residential building fires in 2016, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
  • Heating devices—both fuel based and electrical—cause many in-home fires due to malfunction or accidental ignition of inappropriate materials. This problem is especially frequent during wintertime.
  • Careless smoking is another threat to your home, since a single ash can ignite clothing, blankets, the carpet, and more.
  • Electrical systems, such as extension cords and outlets, can cause electrical fires if overused or used beyond their capabilities.
  • Candles, despite being an obvious risk, are still causing home fires daily in the U.S. On average, 23 home candle fires are reported per day, according to the NFPA.
  • Chemicals such as motor oil and cleaning fluids become an issue when they get too hot and spontaneously ignite.

In-Home Fire Prevention Tips

The Red Cross recommends taking preventive action as part of your home fire preparedness plan. This includes:

  • Test the functionality of your smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries once a year.
  • Never leave any open flames unattended, including fireplaces, candles, and stoves.
  • Clean cookware thoroughly to prevent grease buildup.
  • Keep stove area clear of flammable items.
  • If you smoke, do so outside the house and thoroughly extinguish cigarette butts before discarding them.
  • Lock lighters and matches away from the reach of children.
  • Keep chemicals in their store-bought containers and store in a cool environment.
  • Fix or replace frayed extension cords, exposed wires, or loose plugs.
  • Never plug more power into a circuit than it is designed to handle.  

In Case of a Home Fire

  • Teach children to react properly to smoke alarms.
  • Teach all family members two ways to escape from every room of the home and practice escaping at least twice a year.
  • Discuss with your family where to meet up in case of a fire and how to communicate with one another.  
  • Make sure everyone knows how to dial 9-1-1.
  • Teach household members to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.

Contact an Experienced Burn Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a severe burn injury, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. Our experience burn injury lawyers are available to assist you. If you sustained your burn injury due to the negligence of an individual or company, you may be entitled to collect damages for medical costs, lost wages from missing work, future earnings, and more. We will handle your case with care and ensure that you are in the best position to achieve the real results you deserve.

Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Contact us today for a free case review.

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