House fires can happen in a flash. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 354,400 U.S. homes catch fire annually—which is roughly $6.9 million in damages.

Fortunately, understanding how house fires start and any common fire hazards can help you reduce your risk for fire-related incidents (and keep your family safe!).

1. Be cautious when cooking.

When cooking (especially with a gas stove), you have to be cautious. U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 172,100 house fires started by cooking each year between 2012-2016. To avoid any mishaps, it’s best to always stay in the kitchen when you are frying or broiling food and to turn off the stovetop before you leave the room.

2. Avoid smoking indoors.

Smoking indoors is one of the most common causes of house fires in the U.S. To reduce your risk of a house fire, always smoke outside and extinguish your cigarettes in an ashtray. Never toss a burning cigarette butt into a trash can—it might not be fully put out and it can reignite near something flammable.  

3. Choose heating equipment wisely.

Winter (specifically January, February, and March) is the most common time for house fires caused by heating equipment. Be wary of portable space heaters—they are more likely to cause house fires than central HVAC. Only use them in well-ventilated spaces and keep them away from flammable objects.

4. Cover your fireplace.

Fireplace chatter can be dangerous as well. If you decide to use a wood-burning fireplace, it’s best to keep it covered at all times to avoid any rogue sparks. Installing a spark screen or glass door is a safety measure we’d highly recommend.

5. Follow safe practices with your appliance cords.

Old, frayed, or worn appliance cords are another major cause of house fires in the U.S. Follow safe practices with any and all appliance cords and you should be in the clear. Replace any worn or damaged cords ASAP and never overload your extension cords or wall plugs.

6. Blow out candles.

Blow out candles before you leave a room and always before you leave the house. Never place candles near curtains or any other flammable objects. If you have small children or pets, consider LED-candles or fragrance plug-ins instead of wick-burning candles.

7. Think about faulty wiring.

Have an older home? You should also consider faulty wiring. Older homes can be prone to electrical fires. If you notice anything unusual (such as lights dimming while using an appliance), have an electrician inspect your home’s wiring before disaster strikes.

8. Lock away lighters and matches.

Kids can be quite curious. Sadly, this can get them in trouble if they find a stray lighter lying around. If you have children, it’s best to lock away anything they can potentially light a fire with. Always keep your lighters and matches out of reach. Also, never leave children unattended with stoves, candles, or fireplaces.

Have You Experienced a House Fire? Call 970 Services For Home Restoration in Northern Colorado

When disaster strikes, we’re here to help. 970 Services provides quality restoration and roofing services to resolve damage caused by hail, wind, water, fire, mold, smoke, and soot. Located in Loveland, Colorado, we aim to help locals return their fire-damaged homes to normal and minimize the stress felt by each person affected.

You can feel confident when hiring 970 Services to restore your home. Give us a call today at (970) 888-0970 or contact us online. We’ll be in touch ASAP.

We also offer roof repair, roof replacement, and fire restoration service in the following areas: Fort Collins, Loveland, Ault, Greeley, Denver, Windsor, Boulder, Longmont, and throughout Northern Colorado.