There were 3000 house fires in Victoria during 2014, some of which caused death while others simply destroyed the buildings. One thing is clear, house fires are dangerous, can start in any home, and you should take reasonable precautions today to prevent them from happening to you.
Smoke detectors are compulsory in all houses and can actually save lives. Along with that, you should consider fire-rated glazing and smoke curtains. They may not prevent a fire from happening but they can give you a warning and reduce the speed at which the fire spreads, giving you time to get out.
You should also understand the most common causes of house fires, this will allow you to prepare and protect your home.
It’s not surprising to discover that cooking is the most likely to cause a fire; especially if something is left on the stove unattended. The heat on the stove can easily ignite any combustible material left too close, this will then allow the fire to spread around the kitchen at a surprising rate.
Heat sources are another common cause of house fires. Central heating isn’t usually an issue but portable electrical fires are often positioned too close to combustible materials. If you fall asleep or eave them unattended they can quickly cause a fire to start.
The alternative is that a portable fire is knocked over by children or pets, potentially starting a fire.
Electrical issues are actually one of the biggest causes of fire Old wiring tends to lose its protective sheath, exposing the electrical wires. In fact, this can also happen on new wiring as rodents can chew through the protective sheath. The result is the exposed wires touch each other, generate a spark and heat.
This can be enough to ignite the combustible material near the cables and start a fire in your walls or ceiling voids. Because it’s in the cables it can quickly spread around the house and cause a huge amount of damage.
Overloaded sockets, coiled extension cables, and faulty wiring at sockets or lights can all also have the same effect, resulting in a potentially devastating fire.
Although smoking is not as popular as it once was there are still plenty of people who smoke in the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, if they fall asleep or drop their cigarette for any other reason, a fire can quickly start and blaze out of control.
You may be surprised to find that curious children can be a real fire risk. Putting things into sockets can do more than give your child n electric shock. It can also cause the circuits to short and the heat or the spark can cause a fire.
Finally, candles are another common cause of house fires. They can look pretty but, if left unattended, can easily ignite anything near them. That’s when you realize just how fast a small fire can turn into a big one.
Smoke alarms and smoke curtains help to save lives, but having an awareness of what starts fires and preventing them before they happen, is a much better method.