Posted by: Lara's Services Group LLC on December 1, 2022

Common Causes Behind Home Fire Damage

Fires occur in the United States more often than you think. On average, fire departments in this country respond to a fire every 24 seconds. That includes responding to structure, house, and outside property fires. This amounts to thousands of injuries, deaths, and billions of dollars in damages. Knowing how to prevent fires is essential. Unfortunately, avoiding fires is becoming more challenging because the world relies more on electronics. Understanding the most common fire causes can help you be more aware of preventative measures to take. Here are five common fire damage causes and safety tips to know.

Cooking Mishaps

When cooking, stay in the kitchen. Studies show almost 50 percent of residential fires occur due to cooking accidents. It may involve leaving a hot pan with food unattended or grease overheating. Keep appliances clean and change out old utensils to reduce the risk of fire danger in the kitchen.

Electrical Wiring

Studies show about 7% of residential fires are caused by electrical issues. These fires can be most dangerous because they can occur in the home without notice. They can spread before someone is aware a fire is present. If you have concerns about your electrical wiring, have it checked out by an electrician. They can check your wiring to see if it's up to date, replace any old wiring, and be aware of electrical cords throughout your home.

Dry Christmas Trees

Christmas tree fires are reported each year, with many fire departments reporting they are the most common reason fires are reported around the holidays. If you have a live Christmas tree and decorate it with electrical lights, ensure it has moisture to avoid catching fire. Avoid leaving lights on for extended periods. Also, be mindful of where you hang holiday lights in your home. Some people hang them near a fireplace which is another fire hazard.

Cigarette Smoking

Using cigarettes and candles in the home increases the chances of a fire. Whether you smoke a cigar or cigarette, ensure it is put out entirely in the ashtray. Avoid leaving a lit candle unattended, and be careful when smoking inside your home.

Accidents and Unintentional Acts

Studies show about 8% of residential fires are caused by accidents or carelessness. Be aware of what you're doing and your surroundings. Be smart and practice preventative and safety measures at home to keep fire risk low.

If a fire occurs in your home, consider working with fire damage restoration professionals if you need restoration services. They can respond to your situation quickly by removing debris and getting the restoration process started as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

DIY soot removal is not recommended. Commercially available products can actually cause permanent damage to surfaces. Soot itself is primarily oil-based, but that residue also contains toxic, possibly biohazard contaminants.

It's never a quick fix, though we've gathered together a multi-discipline team of contractors and technicians to work in tandem to complete the work as soon as possible. From structural repairs to sand/soda-blasting to odor removal to contents cleaning, our fire damage restoration crew begins as soon as the project scope is determined, and we don't stop until the job is done and both you and the insurance company are satisfied with the results.

Depending on the extent or location of the fire damage, some homeowners can move back in a few days or longer. The fire department will usually turn off electricity and gas to the property right away, and that won't be restored until a building inspector says that it's safe to turn those utilities back on. If you experienced significant smoke damage and the home's occupants include elderly persons, young children, or those with chronic health conditions, it may be wise to stay until the smoke cleanup is complete. Contracting with a company experienced in fire damage restoration can often get you back home sooner, because they'll have the resources to hire and manage the many tradespeople who will need to work together to make the home liveable again.

Smoke damage is rarely limited to one area of the house, and it leaves behind a residue that can hide in crevices and out-of-reach areas, and a simple "airing out" may not be sufficient. We recommend consulting with a smoke damage technician who can help you troubleshoot the next steps.

Most often, yes. You'll need to check your specific policy for the full scope of coverage, but in general, if the damage was caused by a flame, it's covered. Your best bet is to hire a professional restoration to help you through the claims process. We know how to avoid some common missteps when it comes to making sure the entire loss is documented and covered. Many homeowners and insurance companies forget, for instance, to consider that your HVAC system will need to be cleaned of soot, and, since fires are extinguished using water, many areas of your home may need to be restored due to water damage even if they weren't directly affected by the fire.

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