Fires in the United States occur every year, with some years seeing more fires than others. Wildfires can occur anywhere in the country but are most common in the western states. California has seen some of the worst wildfire activity in recent years, with large and destructive fires becoming increasingly common.
Fires can have several causes, but the most common is human activity. Careless camping or cooking habits can easily spark a blaze that quickly gets out of control. Lightning strikes can also cause fires, particularly during dry conditions. Although wildfires happen yearly in the country, residential fires happen almost every month.
Residential Fire Occurrence in the United States
The amount of residential fires in the United States has decreased throughout the years. In 2020, there were only about 370,000 residential fires compared to the over 750,000 fires during the 1980s. However, this is still many fires, and they come with a high cost.
In 2020, fires in residential properties caused an estimated $7.9 billion in damages. This is a decrease from the $23.6 billion in damages caused by residential fires in 2005. The cost of residential fires has been steadily declining since the early 1990s.
Preventing a fire in your home should be one of your primary concerns this year. Here are ways you can do that.
Inspect your home regularly
One of the best ways to prevent a fire in your home is to inspect it regularly for fire hazards. Look for things like rags and paper that could easily catch fire and any electrical cords that are damaged or frayed. If you find any hazards, make sure to fix them right away.
You can always ask a fire expert to inspect your home. This way, you know your home is safe from such accidents.
Keep flammable materials away from
Another way to prevent a fire is to keep flammable materials away from your home. This includes things like gasoline, propane, and kerosene. If you must have these materials near your home, make sure they are stored safely and away from any heat sources.
Other flammable materials come in the form of tinder. Tinder such as papers, leaves, and twigs can easily catch fire and cause ablaze. Be sure to keep your yard clean and free of any tinder that could start a fire.
Use fire-resistant materials when possible
When designing or remodeling your home, consider using fire-resistant materials. These materials can help to prevent the spread of fire and protect your home in the event of ablaze.
Fire-resistant materials include things like stone, brick, and concrete. You can also use fire-resistant paints on wood and other materials. These paints help create a barrier between the material and the fire, making it more difficult for the fire to spread.
Install smoke alarms
One of the best ways to prevent a fire in your home is to install smoke alarms. Smoke alarms can alert you to a fire early on, giving you time to escape.
Be sure to place smoke alarms on every level of your home and in all bedrooms. You should also test your smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are working properly. You should also ensure that your smoke alarms can recognize all sorts of odorless smoke like carbon monoxide and methane. These gases can be dangerous when inhaled, so having a smoke alarm to identify them is good for your family’s health.
Improve Your Electricity Grid
An improved electricity grid can help to prevent fires caused by power surges. A power surge is a sudden increase in the voltage of your electrical system. This can happen when the power is turned on or off suddenly or if there is a problem with the equipment.
Power surges can damage electronic equipment and start fires. To protect your home from these, you’ll have to improve your electricity grid. This can be done by using surge protectors or uninterruptible power supplies.
It’s also good to have an emergency electrician service on your speed dial. This will help during blackouts and fire-related emergencies.
Practice proper cooking safety
Cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires. To prevent a fire in your kitchen, practice proper cooking safety. This means never leaving your food unattended while it’s cooking. It’s also important to keep your stovetop and oven clean. A build-up of grease and food can easily catch fire.
Be sure to also keep flammable items like potholders and towels away from your stove. And never leave the house while something is cooking on the stove.
In case of a grease fire, never throw water on it. This will only make the fire worse. Instead, smother the fire with a wet towel or use a fire extinguisher.
There are many ways you can fireproof your home. By following these tips, you can help to prevent a fire from starting in your home.