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Modern homes today are filled with electronics and appliances that make our lives more convenient and more fun. Big-screen TVs, video game console’s, icemakers, espresso machines, hair straighteners; all of these can make life easier, but can also easily overload electrical outlets and lead to a house fire.
A recent study by Scientific.net quantified the increase in the number of appliances per household: average number of home appliances was 10.6 for single households, 13.8 for 2-person households and 17.5 for households with 6 persons or more. If you bought a new appliance lately, you’ll see that technology has changed them, as well. A new washing machine consists of relatively few buttons. The high tech touch screens have more circuitry in them, which is a potential home fire risk.
When you multiply the number of appliances you use by the number of potential short circuits, you can see how at risk your home is of suffering from a fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency(NFPA), 501,500 structure fires were reported in the U.S. in 2015. These fires resulted in 2,685 deaths, 13,000 injuries, and $10.3 billion in property damage; $7 billion in property losses were caused by home fires. Based on these statistics, a fire was reported every 63 seconds. RestorePro suggests checking these fire damage risks in your home to help diminish the risk of residential fire damage.
Space heaters are intended to supplement heat as needed, not as the primary heating device in your home. About 33% of home fires in the United States are started by space heaters. They use a lot of electricity, produce a lot of heat, and can overload circuits or ignite combustible objects in the home.
Space heaters can be used safely, but never operate unattended or while you sleep. Keep children or pets away from the unit. Keep space heaters out of high traffic areas, don’t run cords across walkways, and resist the urge to put them in enclosed places like under a desk.
Laundry rooms combine combustible materials (lint, clothing, natural gas) with heat and electricity, making these rooms a natural fire hazard. Therefore, laundry rooms need proper maintenance in order to stay safe. The majority of laundry room house fires are caused by dryers. To prevent dryer fires:
Water heaters can be a fire hazard if they’re not properly maintained. Look for soot around the pilot light or around the area where the unit plugs into the wall. Inspect corrosion on the exterior and moisture on the ground beneath the water heater. If you smell gas around your water heater, call a repair person immediately.
Keep the area around the unit well ventilated and clear of combustible material. Turn off the water heater before draining. Consider turning off the power and water to your water heater when you travel. Adhere to the manufacturer’s advice about recommended temperature and safety features.
Heater insulation blankets can lower energy costs but a blanket that is improperly installed could cause a fire. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, or have it installed by a professional.
A dishwasher doesn’t just use the hot water from the home, it also has a heater to dry your dishes. These heating elements get wet, heat up, and cool down every time you use the dishwasher. A failing element can start a fire. Make a service call if you notice inconsistent operations. Again, don’t run the dishwasher before leaving your home.
Appliances, cords and electrical outlets are a common cause of household fires. Electrical fires start because of poor wiring, short-circuit arc, appliance malfunction and worn insulation. Many of these fires can be prevented or avoided; never run cords under the carpeting.
Never cut off the grounding prong from a cord or plugin two heat-producing appliances into the same wall outlet. Extension cords should not be used as permanent fixtures. If you need more wall outlets in your home or garage, get an electrician to install a properly grounded outlet.
Home fires are devastating, Here are RestorePro, we want to help with everything we can do to avoid a dangerous or tragic incident. If your home suffers a fire, you will need expert help cleaning up the damage.
In Northern Ohio, RestorePro has a team of 20 highly skilled, full-time cleaning and restoration experts on call for you when disasters happen. Call 877-371-0228. We also repair property damaged from water, storms, floods and plumbing mishaps.
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