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Understanding Different Forms of Fire Disasters

Published by Allegra on July 29, 2021 in category: Uncategorized

Types of fire disastersHome fires can start without any warning and quickly devastate surrounding property if left unchecked. Different fires can have their own profile of hazards and risks. While it is important to take preventive steps to reduce the frequency of home fires, it helps to familiarize yourself with the most common types of fires.

We’ve rounded up 5 types of fires every homeowner should know about.

1. Kitchen Fires

The kitchen is the one place in the home where all fire hazards can be found in proximity to each other: heat, water, electricity, and grease. Studies show that cooking causes over 160,000 home structure fires annually, most of which are caused due to grease.

In general, kitchen fires fall into three general categories:

  • Grease fires
  • Electrical and appliance fries
  • Fires caused by flammable items

Grease fires, in particular, deserve special mention because they are very dangerous. They can easily grow out of control and spread from the stove to other areas of the house. Grease fires start when the stovetop is left unattended. Another common reason is when someone overheats a frying pan and the grease catches fire.

This can be extremely dangerous because grease can spill onto the floor or counter, which will also erupt in flames. You should never try to put water on a grease fire. Doing so will cause the oil to splash onto you and cause burns on your skin.

2. Heater Fires

Winter months like December, January, and February are peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the heating equipment of choice for homeowners – unfortunately, they are known for starting home fires. They account for more than 44% of fires as the majority of deaths in home fires are caused by heating equipment.

Coil heaters are especially dangerous because their coils can ignite nearby combustibles. As a general rule, it is recommended to keep space heaters a minimum of four feet away from anything combustible. This applies to bedding, curtains, furniture, and clothing. It is recommended to shut space heaters when they are not in use.

Caution: Never use extension cords with space heaters because they draw too much electricity that could overwhelm the extension cord and start a fire.

3. Electrical Fires

According to the US Fire Administration, electrical fires accounted for 6.3% of all residential fires. They can be caused by several factors, including worn-out or faulty electrical wiring, fault appliances, and worn-out breaker boxes.

Older homes, in particular, are prone to electrical fires because they lack the wiring infrastructure needed to handle heavy appliances. In many cases, older wiring can become frayed or worn out, and are on the verge of causing sparks and shorts that can easily ignite.

Outdated breaker boxes, especially ones that haven’t undergone extensive maintenance, fail to activate the breaker switch because the connections are weak.

Another common cause of the fire is when a flammable material, such as cloth,  is placed over a light fixture (such as a lampshade). This material can easily heat up and ignite, thereby causing a fire.

Pro tip: Never use extension cords for heavy appliances such as toasters, ovens, and microwaves. They are not as safe as plugging the actual cord into its proper outlet and may not be equipped to carry the voltage your appliance needs.

4. Cigarette Related Fires

According to the US National Park Service, almost 1000 people are killed in home fires caused by cigarette butts, making it the leading cause of home fire deaths in the US.

Most smoking fires occur because embers ignite combustibles such as trash cans, bedding, and furniture. This is why smokers should always make sure that cigarette butts are completely put out before emptying them into the trashcan.

For obvious reasons, never smoke in bed, especially when you are tired or drowsy. It may be tempting to place ashtrays on flammable surfaces like beds and chairs, but this is a recipe for disaster.

Most cigarette fires can be prevented by smoking outside the house or office and making sure to put out the cigarette butt properly.

5. Wildfires and Forest Fires

Wildfires often occur in forests, grasslands, and deserts after strong bursts of wind. These fires can cause devastation to the forests and surrounding vegetation. The fires can also approach nearby towns where they can cause all kinds of damage.

Forest fires are often a result of human negligence or natural occurrences such as lighting.

What to do in the Event of a Fire?

Although most home fires are preventable, when they do occur, they can be put out if you have a fire extinguisher nearby. If this doesn’t help and the fire grows out of control, your next step should be to evacuate and sound the alarm. Call 911 and fire safety officers for them to contain the fire.

Do not run if or your clothes catch on fire. Use the classical ‘stop, drop, and roll’ technique. You can also put out the fire with a rug or a heavy towel. Douse the flames with water and then call for help.

You will need to take immediate action before there is further damage to the building and loss of personal belongings. Fire damage restoration services in Manhattan can help you secure your home and complete damage reconstruction, clean up, and haul away.

We understand that residential fires can lead to significant emotional distress, which is why you need highly trained technicians on the scene. Get in touch with fire damage restoration experts in Manhattan.

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