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Every October our team observes Fire Prevention Month – a month-long opportunity to raise awareness about the damage that fire can occur, as well as highlight the ways your entire family can stay safe from fires at your home.

Over the entire month of October, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other organizations encourage families to learn about fire prevention. In honor of this important initiative, ServiceMaster A­­dvantage offers a basic guide to how fires start at your home, ways to prevent house fires, and what to do if you need fire damage restoration services.

How Fires Start At Your Home

With the origin of Fire Prevention Month starting from the Great Chicago Fire that claimed 250 lives and left 100,000 people homeless in Chicago in 1871, there’s been an emphasis on raising awareness of how fires start at your home. As legend has it, the Great Chicago Fire started in a barn when a cow kicked over a lantern, but the reality is that household fires can start in a number of ways and from a variety of sources. Some of the most common causes of house fires include:

  • Cooking
  • Heating equipment
  • Faulty wiring
  • Christmas tree fires
  • Smoking materials
  • Candles
  • Appliances
  • Electrical fires

Fire Damage Stats

The following are some of the most important statistics to fully understand the cost of house fires:

  • Every 24 seconds, fire departments across the United States respond to fires
  • Every 144 minutes (roughly 2 hours), a person dies due to fire-related causes.
  • Every 35 minutes, a person is injured as the result of a civilian fire.
  • The average cost of fire damage and fire damage restoration is $15,926.

Fire Prevention Tips For Your Family

The truth of many house fires is that injury and death are preventable if individuals followed basic fire safety and prevention measures. Before becoming a statistic, some of the most basic fire prevention and safety measures include:

  • Always unplug unused electronics and appliances.
  • Have fire extinguishers throughout your home, especially in the kitchen.
  • Make sure fire extinguishers and other fire suppression systems are up to date.
  • Remain in the kitchen when you are broiling, frying, or grilling food.
  • Smoke outside of your home and never smoke in bed.
  • Replace all damaged, worn, and metal-exposed appliance cords immediately.
  • Never run cords under furniture or rugs.
  • Keep space heaters away from combustible objects, and never warm/dry anything on top of them.
  • Install and regularly maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors throughout your home.
  • Fireplaces and wood stoves should be inspected each year before use
  • Never leave candles burning in an empty room.

While these are great guidelines to follow, they only are effective if your entire family is aware of how to prevent accidental house fires. Practicing fire safety at home involves the right mix of prevention, planning, and action. That’s why it is so important to take the opportunity this October to get everyone in your household involved in being better prepared to avoid and react to fires. Here are a few tips to get your family started:

  • Teach kids to stay away from fire at home until they’re old enough to understand how to be safe around fire. Whether it is stoves, grills, candles, lighters, and matches, all of these sources cause fire trouble if mishandled. Make sure everyone knows that flame sources are for adults only.
  • Encourage talking about the realities of fire. Explain in age-appropriate terms to your children about what might happen if they break the rules. Be sure to encourage them to calmly and immediately tell you if someone breaks fire safety rules – or if they notice something that could potentially lead to a house fire.
  • Encourage your children to help check your alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers. Older children can help test smoke alarms and learn how to use fire extinguishers. Be sure that everyone knows where fire extinguishers are located, how to call the fire department, and how to stay safe if a fire does break out.

Contact ServiceMaster Advantage for Fire Damage Restoration Services

Be sure to use the tips and best practices in this article to make sure your family knows the importance of fire safety at home. If your home is affected by fire or smoke damage, don’t hesitate to contact ServiceMaster Advantage.

As a trusted disaster restoration company in Harris, Montgomery, and Galveston counties ServiceMaster Advantage has been helping people get back on their feet with prompt and fire damage restoration for decades. Contact us today to learn more about our fire damage restoration and other services we can provide.

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