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Leading causes of residential fires in Grand Rapids and how to avoid them

September 25, 2023
Man surprised by smoke pouring out of oven

There are many risks you have to think about as a homeowner. Fire is chief among them, as it can happen anywhere and anytime. The U.S. Fire Administration estimated an incredible $8.9 billion in property damage across the United States as a result of residential fires in 2021. In the same year, there were over 350,000 recorded fires. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to stay clear of them. Take a look at the causes and how to prevent house fires in Grand Rapids.

What causes residential fires in Grand Rapids?

Fires can begin in any location and without warning, whether ignited by a burning cigarette in a garbage can or an unattended stovetop. Here are the most common causes of residential fires.

  • Cooking: Incidents in the kitchen are the most frequent types of residential fires in Grand Rapids and everywhere else. Unattended stovetops are the main cause, so always watch that smoking skillet when cooking. It’s also important to note that dumping water on a grease fire will only make things worse.
  • Heating: Area heaters are well known for causing residential fires. Operating them for too long can cause inner components to degrade and ignite. Placing heaters by combustible fabrics like bed sheets and drapery or using frayed cords can also lead to disaster. Other types of heating, such as fireplaces and furnaces, could cause fires and ought to be checked frequently.
  • Electrical: Old wiring, faulty outlets, and overloaded extension cords are several of the ways electrical complications cause fires. Don’t ever use an appliance with a tattered cord, and make sure ignitable substances like paper aren’t put on top of a lampshade, get it inspected immediately.
  • Candles: Wherever there's a flame, there's the possibility of fire. Residential fires from candles are still commonplace and typically result from careless behavior. Burning candles in close proximity to ignitable materials like drapery or having them within the reach of a curious pet will often result in disaster.
  • Smoking: In spite of the overall decrease in smoking nationwide, it’s still an undeniable fire hazard. The U.S. Fire Administration announced that 7,800 residential fires were a result of smoking in 2021. Nodding off with a cigarette in hand or prematurely discarding smoldering ashes can bring about destructive results.

The primary way to prevent house fires in Grand Rapids is to avoid careless behavior. Always watch closely when cooking, don’t ever leave a candle unattended, and dispose of cigarettes properly. If you have to use a space heater, do so in short intervals and get one that has an automatic shut-off safety precaution in the event it overturns.

Safeguard your home with a monitored fire alarm in Grand Rapids

You need to have smoke detectors on every floor and think about installing more next to bedrooms. But you can take your protection to a new level with a monitored fire alarm. These innovative safety devices will not only detect smoke but can also be triggered due to rising heat. Furthermore, since they incorporate into your modern smart home, they’ll notify you and your monitoring professionals whenever a disaster occurs. This is a notable benefit, especially when you’re not there to hear the alarm and contact the fire department.

Defend against common threats with a Vivint smart home in Grand Rapids

Elevate the safety of your property today with a Vivint smart home. You can personalize our systems with monitored fire alarms, CO detectors, and flood sensors. You’ll be appreciative of the instant updates to your mobile device and the 24-hour support that you get with professional monitoring. Contact (616) 747-8419 to get started.