What Are the Small Problems That Can Lead to Major Fire & Smoke Damage?
House fires can occur at any time due to a variety of reasons. Yet, authorities notice a spike in fire-related emergencies during the chillier seasons, starting from fall. These incidents reach their peak in December and January. Recognizing small problems that can lead to major fire and smoke damage can prove beneficial for homeowners.
You can use this information to mitigate risks and prepare for escape routes in case of emergencies. Such preventive measures can save lives and limit severe property loss after a fire.
911 Restoration of East Valley offers full fire and smoke damage restoration services. Our home restoration experts share a list of common fire hazards that you can try to avoid.
1. Faulty Cooking Utensils and Appliances
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that almost 48% of home fires start in the kitchen. Cooking with defective appliances and worn-out utensils can be a leading cause of fire injuries, smoke and fire damage.
If your cooking appliance is prone to overheating or igniting sparks during usage, it might lead to a fire. It’s most likely because of some form of internal damage, which might have occurred due to a technical malfunction or prolonged usage.
Regular maintenance and service of electrical appliances can help you catch defects before they cause a fire. Call in a professional to inspect your appliance if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Besides this, replace your cooking utensils after every 10 years of use (or until their warranty lasts). This can limit cooking-related fire hazards.
2. Defective Electrical Appliances and Faulty Wiring
Many house fires occur due to wiring issues and malfunctioning electrical appliances (i.e., refrigerator, television, air conditioner, laptops, etc.). It’s why you should inspect wiring and appliances for small problems that can lead to major fire and smoke damage.
Common red flags include:
- Lights that flicker or dim
- Sparks emitted from the fuse box, outlet, or device itself
- Frequent short circuits, blown fuses, and tripped breakers
- Outlets that get hot after when you plug an electric device into it for a designated period
- Fluctuating voltage
Besides this, you should consider getting your electronic devices and appliances serviced when they stop abruptly or don’t work as well as before.
Constant vigilance and regular maintenance can prevent most fire accidents. Start by getting your house fully inspected to ensure that there’s nothing wrong with your electrical system. Ask a professional to check if the wiring and light fixtures align with safety codes.
As far as appliances are concerned, you can limit fire hazards by using them carefully.
Here are some rules to follow:
- Don’t overcharge your appliances
- Ensure that only one device gets plugged into one socket
- Prevent cords and wires from getting tangled
- Switch off fans, lights, and appliances, when you leave the room/they, are not in use
- Get faulty wires and cables repaired by professionals instead of relying on DIY hacks
- Replace old wiring systems and appliances
In addition, you should schedule routine inspections and maintenance surveys to identify and resolve potential threats.
Moreover, you should install smoke alarms and place fire extinguishers in your home. It helps you to take all the necessary steps required to reduce the smoke and fire damage.
3. Malfunctioning Heating Systems and Devices
Whether your house receives heating via a furnace, has a central heating system, or relies on portable heaters, you need to be extra careful with them. Most fall and winter fires occur due to minor issues that go undetected.
For instance, neglecting the manufacturer’s instructions can cause your systems and heaters to overheat. You might even observe small sparks and smell the smoke-like odor when you switch on your heaters. These are signs of internal damage or external stress.
Early intervention can ensure that these small issues don’t result in an accident.
When it comes to heating systems, following safety protocols is the best way to go. They help prevent small problems that can lead to major fire and smoke damage.
Following these rules can reduce fire risks:
- Don’t place your heater near flammable objects (i.e., upholstery, furnishings, paper), as they might catch fire due to continuous heat exposure.
- Never install/use portable heaters close to the wall as they can cause heat build-up in those confined spaces. Eventually causing them to overheat and combust.
- Keep water and moisture away from heating products in use
- Inspect heaters before and after the cold season to ensure nothing goes wrong during usage
Apart from this, you should replace heating systems and devices that show excessive signs of wear and tear.
In a nutshell, you should never ignore small problems that can lead to major fire and smoke damage. When it comes to hazards at home, you should always be on guard. Do routine checks and consult professionals to eliminate potential threats. If things do take a drastic turn, you can contact our reliable restoration services for help. We provide 24/7 disaster recovery support to protect your families and homes.
Looking for smoke and fire damage restoration services? Contact 911 Restoration of East Valley, Gilbert, Arizona, for assistance. Our certified crew of home experts can mitigate fire emergencies and reverse all signs of damage.