**** Info via Bedford Volunteer Firefighters
These are the top ten ways home fires start, be aware of them and look out for these in your own home in order to prevent a fire hazard.
1. Cooking equipment
When a pot or pan overheats or splatters it can take seconds to cause a fire. Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
2. Heating equipment
Keep portable heaters at least one meter away from anything that can burn and don’t use your heaters to dry shoes or clothes. Do regular maintenance on your flu and furnace, keep filters clean and brush your flu each season.
3. Careless smoking
Make the bedroom off limits to smoking and never forget to extinguish your cigarette. Never place an ashtray on or near anything that will burn.
4. Electrical equipment
Ensure the following:
– Your electrical appliances don’t have loose or frayed cords/ plugs.
– Your outlets aren’t overloaded with plugs.
– You’re not running electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture.
– You’re not overusing an extension cord or have multiple plugged into one another.
Keep candles in a sturdy holder on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of reach of children or pets, and never leave that candle unattended.
6. Children playing with fire
Children cause fires out of curiosity. Kids may be involved in fire play if they have access to find matches or lighters. Keep these items up high and out of sight.
7. Inadequate wiring
Older homes and apartments can have inadequate wiring. Some warning signs could be:
– You have to disconnect one appliance to plug in another.
-You have to use extension cords or “octopus” outlets extensively.
– Fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently.
– Lights dim when you use another appliance.
8. Flammable liquids
Flammable liquids such as different types of fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, paints, and other raw materials can ignite or explode if stored improperly.
9. Christmas Trees
Keep the tree in a stand that will hold 2-3 liters of water, and top it up daily. Keep the tree away from all heat sources, including radiators, furnace ducts, television sets, and fireplaces.
As part of regular maintenance, clean removable parts with soapy water and never leave BBQ against a structure. Always stay with your BBQ while cooking.
As always if you ever suspect a fire in your home, never hesitate to dial 911