The Seven Most Common Ways House Fires Start

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If a house fire is going to start the odds are it is going to start in one of a few distinct ways. Learn about the seven most common ways house fires start with help from a certified firefighter in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Home Safety
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Gabriel Williams. I'm a certified firefighter in the State of Illinois. Today we're going to talk about the seven most common causes of house fires. Some of those are your stove, your oven, your toaster, candles, your dryer, fireplace and matches. I'm going to talk specifically a little bit about each one. Your stove and your oven I'm going to talk about together. A lot of fires starts with your stove and oven. You have open flame on your stove. You have high heat in the oven. When you're using this appliance, make sure that anything flammable is kept away from this stove or from the open flame, from the heat of the oven. Lots of people store things in the drawer underneath the oven. Some ovens, that is not designed as a storage compartment, it's designed as a broiler. Make sure you check to make sure there's nothing flammable in that compartment. With toasters, if your toaster isn't functioning properly and doesn't pop up the toast on its own when it's done, that toast could overheat, burn and cause fires. A lot of people store their toasters underneath their cabinets which are made out of wood and that's why it's a huge cause of fire because it malfunctions, it starts the cabinets on fire and before you know it, your whole house is gone. Your candles, if you are burning candles in your house, it's nothing wrong with that, they smell wonderful. Just don't leave a candle unattended. When it burns down, that fire could spread and catch other things on fire. Make sure that if you're burning candles they're in a safe place and when you leave the room, you blow the candle out. Your dryers, make sure you're cleaning those dryer vents and lint traps. Dryers get extremely hot and that lint can catch on fire very easily. It only takes small spark or a malfunction of your dryer and before you know it, those clothes in the dryer are fuel that's just going to add to that fire and a basement fire can be really hard to contain and control. Now a lot of people have their dryers in their basements but no matter where it's located, you want to make sure that you are keeping it clean and keeping it working properly to help us prevent fires. The best way to survive a fire is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Another big cause of fires is what a lot of us have in our homes, a fireplace. You've got a source of heat and fire, we're creating fire in our home. It's safe to use in the fireplace but we want to make sure that we're having our chimneys cleaned on a regular basis, at least once a year, have your chimney cleaned by a professional. The soot and creosote that can build up in your chimney is a great cause of fires. If your chimney catches on fire, you may not even notice it from the inside of your house, your neighbors or someone else might be the first ones to notice it in which case it can cause a lot of damage to the structure of your house. Make sure you're having those fireplaces cleaned and make sure that you're operating them properly. Last but not least, matches, make sure you're educating your kids on the dangers of playing with fire, playing with matches, playing with lighters. Make sure that they know that this can cause injury or death when used improperly. Keep them out of reach of your children so they're not using them when you're not around. Again, these things are going to help you prevent a lot of fires in your house. I know this stuff seems like common sense, but it's only common sense if it's common to you and now it is. So we'll go over it once again, the seven most common things that start house fires are going to be your stove, your oven, your toaster, if it's not working properly, candles that are left unattended, a dryer that malfunctions or isn't kept clean, your fireplace that hasn't been cleaned and matches being used improperly. I'm Gabriel Williams and we've been talking about the seven most common ways that fires start.


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