Home Structure Fires: Causes and Restoration

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the U.S. has a fire problem. The general fire statistics for 2012 have not yet been released, but in 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,389,500 fires. These fires caused 3,005 civilian deaths, 17,500 civilian injuries, and $11.7 billion in property damage. Of the over 1 million fires, 484,500 were home structure fires, causing 2,640 civilian deaths, 15,635 civilian injuries, and $9.7 billion in property damage. Obviously, the fire problem in the U.S. is being personally experienced by many of its citizens as they are faced with the devastating effects of home structure fires or corporate structure fires and the cost associated with the cleanup and build back once fire damage has occurred.

home structure firesAs illustrated by the graph (taken from the National Fire Protection Association), there are many different causes of residential fires, fire injuries, and fire-related deaths. Cooking and cooking equipment was, by far, the leading cause of home structure fires and injuries, with oil, fat and grease being the leading types of material ignited. Cooking fires can not only cause damage to the kitchen, but to a large part of the property, especially when flammable materials are present and the fire gets out of control. A good example of what can happen as a result of a kitchen fire, and the importance of employing the best in fire damage restoration services can be found in an earlier weekly blog post titled Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration.

As the graph indicates, heating equipment is the next leading cause of fires in the United States. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, between 2008 and 2012, an estimated average of 50,100 heating fires in residential buildings occurred in the United States each year and resulted in an annual average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries, and a whopping $326 million in property loss. Perhaps Floridians do not think of heating as being a common cause of fires, but on a cold day like today, we should be more aware than ever. The fact is, Floridians are not as familiar with their fire places, chimneys, flues, and fuel burners as our friends to the north. In addition, our heating systems are not used nearly as much as our cooling systems, and we should be aware of any potential electrical issues as well. Taking extra precautions when dealing with heating equipment, such as making sure combustibles are far from heat sources, can prevent a world of trouble when it comes to fire and smoke damage.

Other sources of home structure fires include electrical and lighting equipment, appliances malfunction, with clothes dryers as the most common culprit, and smoking-related fires, which is the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. It is so important that we take notice of these factors so as to prevent damage to our property, injuries to ourselves and others, and even death. For more information, please refer to www.nfpa.org and www.usfa.fema.gov .

If you do have the misfortune of experiencing a fire in your home or business as a result of the above mentioned sources or another source, please be sure to contact Joe Taylor Restoration, a licensed and insured fire damage restoration company. We will remove what is necessary, provide specialized cleaning to rid the property of soot residue, and clear the structure of smoky or other fire-related odor, restoring the air quality within your home or business. If you are personally faced with a fire problem, contact Joe Taylor Restoration for fire damage restoration and peace of mind.