Main Causes of Fire in a Home

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Fat fryers: Fires are often caused by the oil catching fire. When the oil begins to smoke there is danger. Also do not let oil spill (keep the level of oil low) and do not leave the frying pan unattended.

Open fires: Don’t leave newspapers and other combustible material too close to a fire. Paper can be sucked in and hot material can be shot some distance by a crackling fire.

Portable heaters: Drying clothes next to a heater can result in a fire if the clothes are too close. Other objects close to a heater (furniture and so on) could pose a danger.

Plugs: Plugs must not be overloaded. Things like heaters take a lot of current and a heater and hotplate or kettle connected to one plug may cause an overload. Even a single appliance could draw too much current, causing wiring to overheat. One can get adaptors with fuses as a safeguard.

Electric blankets: The manufacturers instructions should be followed. After the guarantee period is over the electric blanket should be checked, serviced or discarded.

Appliances close to stoves or other hot objects: Flex from an appliance may come into contact with a  hot heater element, stove plate or other hot object. If the flex melts a short can occur causing a fire.

Smokers cigarettes or pipes: Burning cigarettes or pipes can fall, causing a fire. Smokers may fall asleep holding a cigarette or pipe. Children may play with matches and cause a fire. When emptying ash trays make sure cigarettes are not still alight. Burning candles can also cause problems.

Some electrical warning signs: Sockets or plugs are hot. There are scorch marks on sockets and plugs. Lights flicker. Fuses blow with no apparent reason.

Reference: Elementary Fire Engineering Handbook by The Institute of Fire Engineers.

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