The US Fire Administration reports that the national average for fire incidents is four percent. In Arizona, home fires make up 2.9 percent of all incidents. Residents living in Phoenix should be aware of how to prevent a devastating house fire.
The geographic area of Phoenix is only 519.5 square miles. Located within those 519.5 square miles are 58 fire stations, with 349 civilian personnel working in them. The mission of the Phoenix Fire Department officials is to suppress fires, protect properties and save lives.
Despite having fire officials nearby to squash erupting flames, it is important to be knowledgeable about fire safety. Fires can begin in Phoenix homes for any number of reasons. The Phoenix Fire Department and the US Fire Administration provide the top six reasons for home fires in the state.
The Phoenix Fire Department officials agree that cigarettes are the number one cause of house fires. Candles come in at a close second. Other top causes of home fires include overworked electrical cords, clogged dryer vents, cooking and heating sources.
Preventing a house fire requires the practice of fire safety measures, preparation, and appliance maintenance. While a fire can break out at the most unexpected times, homeowners can take steps to reduce the risk of fires and the subsequent fire and smoke damage.
Test Smoke Alarms
A spark is silent, but it can turn into a huge blaze within seconds and engulf the home within minutes. Prevent a catastrophic fire by testing the smoke alarms regularly. The smoke alarm beeps when the battery is low. Change the batteries every month to ensure the alarm continually functions.
Every 8 to 10 years, replace the entire smoke alarm system. When cooking in the kitchen, do not disable the smoke alarm. Also, teach kids in the household to recognize the beeping sound produced by the smoke alarm and what to do when it occurs.
Maintain Heating Sources
Schedule annual inspections of all heating sources. A malfunctioning heating source, such as a furnace, is a fire hazard. Replace or clean air filters periodically. When running a space heater, ensure it remains a safe distance from flammable materials; and, never run the unit unattended or overnight.
Inspect Electrical Cords
Frayed, chewed, or otherwise damaged electrical cords are a major fire hazard. Prior to plugging in an electrical device, inspect the cords. Replace any cords that show evidence of wear and tear. Since cords heat up, avoid running the cords under a rug or between the furniture and walls.
Practice Candle Safety
Lit candles exude warmth and comfort. However, without careful use, candles can be dangerous. Never leave candles unattended; extinguish the flames when exiting the room. Position candles so the flames remain at a safe distance from flammable materials, like curtains or blankets.
When burning candles, place them on even surfaces. Avoid placing candles on carpets because they could easily tip over. Light a candle inside a sturdy candle holder. If pets or children are in the home, ensure the candles are completely out of their reach.
Clean Dryer Vents
Depending on the dryer, inspections should be scheduled yearly. Clean the lint from the dryer vent after every load. The accumulated lint in the dryer is a fire hazard. Check behind and under the dryer for lint and misplaced clothing, which can catch fire. Never leave the dryer on unattended.
Phoenix smokers are urged to practice fire safety. Rather than smoke in bed, smoke outdoors or over concrete, such as in the garage or driveway. Hot ashes can start a blaze, so extinguish the butts in an ash tray; or dampen the butts under running tap water.
When using the stove or oven, do not leave the appliances unattended. Clean grease around the stove and oven prior to turning them on. Utilize the stovetop’s back burners to prevent pots from being knocked off the stove. Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Clean the Fireplace
While Phoenix winters rarely dip below freezing, residents may still light a fireplace. It is important to hire a chimney sweep for an annual inspection and cleaning. When feeding fireplace flames, only burn dry wood. Install a barrier, like a glass door, around the fireplace to contain flying sparks.
Prevent Outdoor Fires
Phoenix residents who grill outdoors should clean the unit before and after use. Prevent random sparks from igniting a wooden deck when grilling by laying a nonflammable pad over the deck. Store gasoline away from the home (not inside the garage) and in an appropriate container.
Keep Fire Extinguishers Handy
Keep a fire extinguisher in every room and learn how to use it. When a small flame erupts, extinguish it before the flames produce an uncontrollable blaze. Utilize the pass technique to put out manageable fires: pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.
Phoenix homes are just as susceptible to fires as any other city in the nation. When you are confronted with a home fire, it is critical to first put out the fire. Once fire officials have extinguished the blaze, homeowners should call ServiceMaster All Care Restoration.
Fire damage restoration technicians from ServiceMaster All Care Restoration arrive immediately after the initial call. We assess the fire damage, perform structural repairs and clean soot and smoke damage. Our specialists are also available to work with your homeowner’s insurance to accelerate claims.
Smoke and soot are byproducts of fire. Both should be cleaned promptly to avoid permanent damage, such as etching and tarnishing, to belongings and structural materials. Homes affected by fire will also need professional deodorization to remove smoke odors. We provide this service, too.
The fire damage cleanup pros at ServiceMaster All Care Restoration are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to emergency calls. We service Arizona communities, including Maricopa, Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties. Call us when fire damage strikes!