In the first week of December, 17 house fires occurred in Southwest Baltimore. Authorities are investigating these fires and have determined at least five of them are the result of arson. However, the alarming number of house fires in the news makes this the perfect time to take a moment to review the possibility of an accidental fire in your home.
Inspect Your Home to Prevent Fires
There are some common sense things you can do to reduce the possibility of a fire destroying your home.
Install and Inspect Fire Alarms
Your fire alarm is only good if it is in working order. Take a moment to inspect your fire alarm to make certain it is in working order. Batteries should be changed every six months. Many people use daylight saving time as a reminder to change the batteries in their fire alarms.
Inspect Heating Sources
Furnace filters should be changed regularly to reduce the build-up of dust and lint. Both dust and lint are highly flammable. Water heaters, as well as furnaces, should be inspected to make certain nothing flammable is near the pilot light. In addition to dust and lint, fabric, paper, and other flammable items should be well away from the furnace and water heater. If you use a space heater, make sure it is away from flammable substances.
Stay in the Kitchen
If you are cooking, stay in the kitchen. Leaving hot surfaces unattended can lead to fires. Make certain the stovetop is clean and clear of flammable items. Do not place cookbooks, dish towels, or hot pads on the stovetop. Additionally, make certain to turn pot handles inward to reduce the possibility of accidental bumps and grease spatters.
Clean the Dryer
As stated previously, lint is highly flammable. Make certain to clean the lint trap after each use. Additionally, check under and behind the dryer to make certain lint is not gathering unobserved. Finally, at least once a year a professional should remove all lint and debris from the external dryer vents and lint trap area.
Inspect Electrical Cords
Electrical cords can produce heat. If they are stored under rugs or between furniture and the wall, this can be a fire hazard. Cords should be checked regularly for frayed wires. This is particularly true in households that have pets that like to chew on things.
Exercise Caution with Candles
Candles can be a source of relaxation. However, one should never leave a candle unattended. Candles should be kept away from flammable items such as curtains, paper, and the like. Candles should be extinguished before leaving the room.
Fires Can Cause Serious Injury or Death
Even if you take all precautions, sometimes a defective product in your home can cause a fire. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a fire, you may have an actionable claim. Contact the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian, LLC. We only charge you a fee if we win your case. Call us to schedule a consultation at 800.529.6162.