When there is a fire in the house, it is often assumed that it started from the kitchen. However there are many other places and resources that can be responsible for causing fire. Through this article, we will acquaint you with these unknown stimuli and rarely known fire hazards. Here’s a brief about each one of them.
There are times when you work for hours together on your laptop. And sometimes, you leave it switched on and get busy with other things. It is possible that heat from the laptop gets underneath the materials it has been put upon (Bed, pillow or couch) and starts a fire. To prevent this from happening, you should ideally mount your laptop on a stand or put a fan table below it. Also, when you are not around, switch it off or put it on a non-flammable material.
A fire causing from dishwasher is quite a rarity. But it isn’t impossible either. If your dishwasher is faulty, water can drip into the internal wires of a machine. Make sure you maintain your dishwasher and get it serviced at regular intervals so there are no water leaks or fire hazards because of it.
It may sound to you like a myth, but fish bowls, glass door knobs and jam jars have also been responsible for reflecting sun rays enough to cause a fire. So it’s not just a magnifying glass that can start a fire. When light is refracted by a glass on objects like curtains, paper or any other flammable item, fire can start over the time. Make sure you keep the glassware away from the areas where they are likely to cause a fire.
Dust particles under beds and furniture can be a cause of fire if they come in contact with electrical sockets, electronics and heating appliances. Such situations can occur if sparks fly towards the dust particles and spread the fire gradually. To eliminate this possibility, make sure that you vacuum under the bed and couch regularly.
Inappropriate disposal of 9-volt batteries in the garage and basements has often been responsible for causing huge fire accidents. If these batteries come in contact with any kind of metal and the metal touches other flammable object like paper or dust particles, fire can start in no time. So make sure you keep these batteries away from metal objects. Information about safely disposing them can be easily found on the internet.
Although these are little known factors responsible behind a home fire, you must know about them to be able to prevent such situations from happening. However, if there is a fire and you are not able to put it off, you must get in touch with your nearest fire station. After the fire has been put off, you can avail of professional fire damage restoration services which will help you recover important objects and make sure that minimal damage is caused.
Fire, be it a small or huge one, can prove to be dangerous and deadly. According to National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States in the year 2015 and they caused 3,280 civilian deaths. It goes without saying that you must call 911 whenever there is an accidental fire and it puts the lives of you and your loved ones at risk. After the fire has been extinguished, you can also consider hiring fire damage restoration professionals to lessen the amount of damage caused due to fire.
There are different types of fires that erupt in your surroundings and different ways to extinguish them. Let us acquaint ourselves with each one of them and know how to deal with them as and when they occur.
This is the most common kind of fire that erupts in any house. Whenever there is a cooking fire, consider shutting the oven off, cover the pan with lid or use Type B extinguisher. Try not to move the pan as it can spatter oil and spread the fire further. Also, turning the exhaust fan on is the last thing you should do as it can add oxygen to the fire. If there is a fire in the oven, try to cool it off by keeping the door closed. This is because if the fire comes in contact with the air, it can grow worse. You can also sprinkle a lot of baking soda on the food.
Fire caused due to electrical equipment
As people are quite used to extinguishing fire with water, they make a huge mistake of pouring water over the fire caused by electrical equipment. This leads to further accidents as water is a good conductor of electricity. So avoid committing such mistakes any cost. During electrical fire, pull the plug out from the socket (if possible) or switch off the appliance. You can also control the fire by covering it with blanket or Type C extinguisher.
You may have never imagined a Television being caught on fire. However, there is a possibility of it being on fire when the air around it doesn’t have enough space to circulate causing a lot of heat in the area around it. Even when there are other objects close to it like candles, curtains or knickknacks, the heat from the TV can ignite these objects causing a fire. When a TV catches fire, the best thing to do is to unplug the cord and try to put the flames down with a fire extinguisher. Refrain from using the blanket as it can spread the fire further.
Fireplace wood stoves
If you use fireplace stove, there might be chances of it catching fire. To avoid this, use dried wood and refrain from using flammable liquid. Once the cooking task is over, dispose the cool ashes in a metal container. Also when the cooking process is on, don’t leave the fire unattended. Don’t keep flammable materials near it and keep the glass screen closed.
These fires might start small but can turn into an unimaginable tragedy if not controlled in a right way. We hope that the above guide will be of great help in controlling small fires.
Basement of the house is used for multiple purposes. It’s a place where you store heaters, coolers and other utility controllers. It is okay to use basement for storage purposes, but you must have a good understanding about the placement of things around it. For eg, If you keep a flammable object near furnace, it will definitely catch fire.
Being stuck in fire can be one of the most horrifying experiences one can ever go through. And no matter how many fire drills you have undergone, there is a possibility that when it actually happens, you might go completely numb as to what to do next! This is because you are in a state of shock and can’t believe that a fire has broken out in your house.
During such times, instead of panicking, you should try to be calm and think through things clearly about the immediate next steps. It is quite obvious that you will immediately call 911 or the fire department. But by the time professional help arrives, things can get life threatening. So here’s what you should do.
Let everyone know
When you are stuck in your house, the only way to ask for help is to shout and alert the neighbours. This way, they might contact the fire authorities before you do and render help any which way that they can. It is always recommended that you have a fire escape route figured out. By doing so, you will be able to get out of the house faster without any hassle.
Don’t be a fire expert
The last thing you want to do when a fire breaks out is to check the ‘when’ ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the fire. There have been instances of people losing their lives because they tried to investigate the fire resource and what caused it. These things can be taken care of during the later stages. So just focus on getting out of the house and planning your escape.
Keep away from smoke
The smoke emitted during fire can prove to be toxic and can suffocate you. Make sure you crawl on the floor as the air is purer near floors. By lying down, you will be able to save your face and upper body from the flames that burst upwards. Once you succeed in reaching the door, put your hand on it and check whether the fire hasn’t spread on the other side. If not, your way is clear. When you go on the other side of the door, you must close it so that the fire doesn’t get any oxygen to spread further.
Control the flames
While escaping, choose to roll on the floor as it will prevent the flames from spreading further. Don’t panic and run around as it can be dangerous for you and spread the fire even further. If you have huge blankets or heavy clothes, try to cover the flames with them as they will cease the supply of oxygen.
Planning an escape through window
This kind of escape is not usually recommended. Jumping out of windows has led to serious injuries and accidents. However, if the fire has spread severely and you don’t have a choice, throw pillows and beddings on the ground from the window before you jump. Families with children should ensure that they lower the children as much as possible before they jump.
Once you are out, call the fire department and provide them with your address and details about the intensity of the fire. This information has to be given for the professionals to know where to reach you and what equipment to carry.
As soon as the fire dies down, get in touch with your nearest fire damage restoration service providers. This is because the water used to cease the fire can cause structural damage and lead to mold growth. Ashes from smoke get imbibed in your furniture, carpets, drywall, etc. The earlier you call a restoration service, the lesser the chance of your property ruining further. It is important to know that an emergency situation like this has to be dealt professionally. Keep safe!
Fire in your home or office can be life threatening aside from the fact that it causes damage to your property. So if you ever have to bear the brunt of fire, you should always contact fire damage restoration service providers in your area.
However prevention is always better than cure. Something like a fire accident is mostly because of the lack of proper precautionary measures. Be it your home or office, you remain vulnerable to fire accidents. Though you cannot always control if there is a fire at the site, you can always take some precautionary measures to prevent fire damage and to control the fire to spread further. Here are some tips you should consider to prevent your home or office from getting damaged in fire.
Install smoke detectors
It’s almost a rule now and you should abide by it to ensure your own safety. Install smoke detectors at multiple places at your home and office to be certain that if for any reason a fire is ignited, you immediately get informed by the alarm. Early detection can help you prevent major fire accidents.
Ensure electrical safety
A significant number of home and office fires are caused due to electrical faults. For maximum safety, employ a well maintained electrical system. Overloading of electrical outlets is a ‘No’. Equipment like coffeemakers, photocopy machines, computers, etc. should only be sourced from approved suppliers. Heat generating equipments should be kept away from goods that might catch fire easily.
Smoke detectors just help you know that there’s fire in the building. You need to find the quickest rescue after that. Calling fire personnel take time and might not be needed if you already have fire extinguishers installed which can help you put off the fire before it spreads.
Keep a check on your storage habits
Install smoke detectors in your storage rooms where paper and other easily flammable items are stored. Don’t stack too many bundles of paper together as it can spread the fire easily. If you can, avoid keeping papers, files and folders as much as you can be it your office or home. Keep a digital record of all your papers and files and not only make more space but you keep your property less vulnerable to fire.
Draw escape plans with the help of experts and inform all your house/office mates about the same. Emergency exits should be highlighted and the plan should be pasted on each floor to make sure everybody has access to it. Organize a small talk in your office and teach everyone how to escape in case of any fire. Using fire extinguishers should also be known by all.
House fires are mentally exhausting and physically destructive. Not only does it result in loss of properly and unfortunate cases lives, recovering from a fire can also be difficult. And putting out the fire is only the beginning in the process of recovery. The real work starts after that. Living in a fire affected house without cleaning it up can prove to be hazardous. All the smoke and soot that is left behind can be harmful and should not be neglected at any cost. Below are some useful DIY tips to help you clean up your home from fire and smoke damage.
Cleaning Up The Walls
Clean all the loose soot and dust particles from the walls using a vacuum cleaner. Make a solution using one gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), and use a sponge to wipe the wall surface with it. Dip some rags into warm water and use it to clean up the walls. Make sure you are wearing professional rubber gloves and safety goggles. You can then follow it up by priming and a fresh coat of paint.
Getting Rid of The Odor
The walls of your house can absorb smoke odor. You can use some household items to get rid of this smell. Either you can use soapy/detergent water to wash down your walls (if washable) or you can use white vinegar which also works for your floors and furniture. You can also consider other alternatives like baking soda, activated charcoal, etc. If the fire hadn’t been a minor one, the damage could be on molecular level. In that case, we recommend you to take professional help to steer clear of any health hazards.
Cleaning Up Fabrics
While you might require discarding a considerable part of your fabrics, you can still save some of them. Use a vacuum clear to get rid of all the soot which might stain your textiles further if not cleaned immediately. Deodorize the carpets, curtains and other fabrics using dishwashing detergent or if the fabrics are bleach friendly, you can use a solution of 4-6 tablespoons TSP and a cup of household bleach.
Though there are methods which enable you to clean up the mess yourself, it’s a daunting task. Just cleaning it up to make it showy again doesn’t count. The injurious particles can continue to harm you in spite of all the hard work on your part. If the fire had been intense and you can see soot and smoke everywhere, we suggest you to hire professional fire damage restoration services. Professionals can handle major fire damage much better than you can.