General Causes of Fire Damage

While some causes of fire are general and can occur anywhere, other causes are more specific for certain rooms Fires are the second leading cause of accidental death around the home.

Attics, Basements and the Garage
Many of the electrical fire hazards are also located in these areas. Old clothes, papers and other combustible items are also hazardous and should be stored safely. Keep a clear space between these items and the furnace or hot water heater.

As popular storage areas these places usually contain fire hazards such as gasoline and other flammable liquids that should be stored in metal cans outdoors. Worn cords, blown fuses, electrical boxes and other signs of electrical trouble should be treated immediately

Kitchen The common combination of open fire, grease, electricity, and water is hazardous. Kitchen appliances may also cause fire if not well maintained. This type is a dangerous, life-threatening fire as it can set the entire kitchen and adjacent rooms on fire. The kitchen is the largest category of causes of residential fires as it contains many hazards that can cause fires.

One of the most common fires in the kitchen is a grease fire, usually caused by frying pans. These types are easy to control and are not likely to cause major damage. Be very careful when dealing with water and electricity to prevent electrical shock and electrical fire Additionaly, less dangerous fires are dry cooking fires and oven fires.

Heating Devices and Fireplaces
Finally, leaving space heaters operating unattended is extremely dangerous as well Another cause of fire are combustible items such as wallpaper, curtains, furniture bedding, and clothing, that are neglected and left without maintaining adequate clearance around heaters. A common cause for fire is a blocked chimney where flammable creosote is built up promoting "chimney-fire" upon ignition.
Operating the fireplace without a screen or glass doors will allow sparks to fly into the room and cause fire. Leaving clothes to dry near a heater is a common mistake that leads to fire. These are developed to generate heat and may be hazardous if not well maintained or if overloaded.

Electrical fires can start due to overloading extension cords, heat build-up in worn electric cords, and the use of electric blankets and warmers with no lab approval. Heaters are a special concern during winter if they are recklessly placed near linens, clothes, curtains, and other combustible items.
Other common bedroom fires are caused by children who play with matches and lighters, usually in closets and under beds where there are a lot of items that catch fire easily Many bedroom fires are caused by misuse or poor maintenance of electrical devices.

Exposed wires may cause a spark, leading to a fire The fact that there is no flame involved does not mean that there is no risk present. Hot plugs and sockets and blown fuses may overheat and start a fire. Don't underestimate the fire risk from electricity.

Most candle-related fires start due to drafts that push the flame to ignite combustible items and tilting candles that are not placed in proper holders A tiny candle flame can have devastating consequences.

Additional causes include falling asleep with a burning cigarette and not using proper ashtrays Smoking is a big cause of fire-related deaths. Most cigarette-related fires start because the cigarette is not put out completely.


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