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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Residential Fires are the Second Most Common Fire

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

With the recent strong storms, you may have seen stories on the local news about homes catching on fire from lightning strikes. While that is possible, lightning accounts for a very small percentage of house fires. Lightning is still dangerous and you should definitely take cover if it is near, there are other areas and parts of your home that you should keep an eye on as common culprits of Indiana house fires.

In the article below we will go over statistics on house fires as reported in the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) by the fire departments throughout the country. The stats come from the residential fire incident reports from 2013-2015.

Residential Fires are the Second Most Common Fire

Residential fires, which include single-family homes, apartments, and condos, account for 30% of all fires reported. Businesses account for 8% and vehicles account for 15%, while outside fires (forest fires, grass fires, etc.) accounted for 41% of all fires. While home fires accounted for only 30% of all fires, they resulted in the most injuries, deaths, and dollar loss from property damage.

The Leading Cause of House Fires

Have you ever left something on the stove for too long that resulted in a small confined fire? Apparently, many of us have by the stats from the U.S. Fire Administration’s report. Cooking fires accounted for an astounding 50% of all house fires that occurred between 2013-2015. Cooking fires originated in ovens, on stovetops, and in microwaves. Most of these fires were contained to the food container (skillet, pot, cooking sheet) and were extinguished before the fire had time to spread.

The second leading cause of house fires is from heating equipment. Heating equipment includes space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and radiators. These fires account for close to 12% of all house fires. These fires, like cooking fires, can be easily prevented by not leaving a fire in a fireplace or wood stove unattended and keeping flammable objects at least three feet away from heat sources. If you use space heaters, be sure to turn them off before leaving the room or going to sleep.

Other leading causes of house fires include appliance fires, candles, smoking, and electrical malfunctions. All of these together only account for 16% of all fires. Fires from smoking and candles are usually due to carelessness while appliance and electrical fires are due to damaged equipment or overloaded circuits. With appliances and electronics, it’s always good to check the cords for damage or frays. Also, never overload a wall outlet with an excessive amount of appliances and equipment.

The Spread of Fires in Homes

Fortunately, most fires in homes are discovered quickly and extinguished before they spread. Around 55% of all fires are contained to the object that the fire originated at. This could be a pot or an appliance or a piece of fabric like a table cover or chair. While the fire damage is usually limited to the object, the smoke damage can still be substantial. Fires that take over a whole room account for 20% of all fires while fires that take over a whole home account for 17% of all fires. These fires are the most devastating to property and to the health of the occupants.

Be Safe in Your Home with Working Smoke Alarms

One of the keys to catching a fire early and extinguishing it before it has caused extensive damage is to have properly working smoke alarms located throughout your home. According to the report, smoke alarms were only present in 43% of nonconfined house fires. Nonconfined fires are fires that spread from their original confined source i.e. cooking pot. While smoke alarms will not prevent a fire, they serve as an early warning device to alert the occupants that a fire is occurring. A smoke alarm gives them time to either extinguish the confined fire or evacuate and call the fire department if the fire is nonconfined.

It a Fire Should Occur at Your Indiana Home, Call the Fire Restoration Professionals

Even a small little kitchen fire can cause a lot of smoke damage. Whether you have experienced a small fire or an extensive fire, the fire restoration experts at SERVPRO can help clean up, repair and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. They have the tools, equipment, and know-how to handle smoke damage, water damage, mold damage and fire damage -- all of which can occur from a house fire. Whether a fire happens during the day or in the middle of the night, you can call SERVPRO 24/7 to handle your home’s emergency.

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