“Fire?”, you’re asking yourself. “But this is a heating and air conditioning company blog.” Well, fire creates heat, and we fix heaters… Alright, that’s a bit of a stretch. To put it simply, it’s that time of year to do a check on the fire safety of your home. Just this past weekend most people across the country moved their clocks ahead one hour for daylight savings time. But more importantly, we also hope they are in the habit of testing their smoke alarms and changing the batteries. And just like any other family in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area, we here at GAMA Air want our families and yours to be safe. Here’s a few quick facts about leading causes of home fires that can give some things to talk about as a family and work on together to be fire safe at home.
The second leading cause of home fires in the US is home heating. The injuries and the deaths that result should not be thought of as just statistics, but rather human lives that were lost due to insufficient knowledge or just plain carelessness. Space heaters are the most common culprits in the case of fires resulting from home heating equipment. Two out of every five fires, as well as the vast majority of deaths and injuries in home fires are caused by space heaters that are used in an unsafe manner.
It is called by many “the invisible killer”. Carbon monoxide (CO) is gas produced from the incomplete combustion of fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane and the like. It is odorless and colorless, in other words “invisible”, but can snuff out the life of loved ones in very small quantities. The most common sources of the deadly gas are from portable home heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel. And the winter months carry the most risk.
More and more areas throughout the U.S. are experiencing severe winter storms. When heavy snow or icy rains cause downed trees and power lines, it can wreak havoc on our daily schedules. At times like that you may feel pressured to take risks in order to stay warm. But keep this in mind when you are setting up your temporary heaters: One in every five home fire deaths is the result of fires from heating equipment in the winter time.
Closely related is the use of portable generators. They can be a life saver when used properly during blackouts. But many homeowners are not aware that they can be risky and dangerous when not used properly. What can go wrong? Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and starting fires. One recent safety showed that portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools.
Candles can be fun. Candles can be deadly. In this country, the most popular days for using candles, and the resulting fires started from them are Christmas and Christmas Eve. Each year an average of almost 8,000 home fires were started because of the misuse of candles.
And lastly there are the electrical fires. This is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. The biggest reason? Poor use of electrical distribution such as extension cords, unsafe lighting equipment like strings of lights. And then there’s the electric space heaters, accounting for another large portion of electrical home fires.
Scared? Don’t be. Talk about these things as a family. Educate yourselves on the proper use of heaters and other electrical equipment. Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Just make sure your home is fire safe.
Have a heating or AC problem? Give GAMA Air a call at (310) 651-6936 or fill out our online form to request a service call. If you’re curious about something related to your home’s central heating or cooling system then visit our “Ask an Expert” page and let us know what’s on your mind. We’ll get back to you quickly with an answer.