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Preventing House Fires

Oct 12, 2007
A house fire can be one of the most devastating experiences a homeowner can go through, but there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the chance of this happening. A large number of house fires result from people simply not paying attention to what they are doing, neglecting an electrical device, or using one incorrectly.

Space heaters are used in the winter in many homes that cannot afford to pay the gas bill or the extra electricity cost that it takes to heat their home, but these are the cause of house fires if they are not used properly. The first thing you need to realize about these devices is that you should never use an extension cord with them unless they are heavy duty. The cord should be a gauge 14 at least or else it will melt. The smaller cords simply cannot handle the amount of electricity needed to power these devices and so, they cause fires.

Something else you should be wary of is putting the heater on a carpeted surface. You can do this with heaters that have a good amount of space between the heating element and the floor, but space heaters with short legs should be used only on non-carpeted floors.

Another electrical item that is often misused is the electric blanket. Imagine waking up and the bed being on fire with you in it. That could be mistaken for a nightmare, but it has happened before to people who do not turn their blankets off when they go to sleep. Electric blankets need to be used to warm up the bed only and turned off afterward and they should NEVER be left on their highest setting while you are sleeping under them. You should also not allow pets or children to walk on these, since it can damage the cords inside them and cause them to have shorts.

Any other electrical device that puts out heat should be used very carefully to ensure that a house fire does not break out. It is important to follow the directions of the device to the letter and use the utmost caution if you have to leave it unattended for any amount of time. Try not to leave these items alone for more than a few minutes at a time.

Grease fires are also common in the kitchen. The best way to prevent this is to heat oil or shortening slowly and never leave it unattended.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
Miami Residential Water Damage Restoration Contractors and
Orlando water Damage companies.
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