House fires are something that we don’t think about often. We protect ourselves with smoke detectors and rest easy thinking that we are safe. Updated building methods and codes have lessened the chances that a house can catch fire, but no house is entirely fireproof. Homes are still at risk to catch fire for various reasons. In addition to physical damage and the mental strain, there are health risks that remain in your house if it survives the fire. Know where the dangers are in your home and help prevent house fires. What are the most causes of house fires? Let’s explore them here.

Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are pretty, and they bring warmth and good times with them. As the Christmas season winds on, the tree dries out and becomes a fire hazard. Dry, brittle needles combined with the heat from the lights can lead to a fire. Keep the tree watered and the light off at night while you sleep.

Cooking and Grease Fires

Having a home-cooked meal shared with the family is great. However, grease fires are among the most common causes of house fires. When a pan gets too hot and the grease flies around, it can hit the flames and cause a fire. In the event of a grease fire, don’t throw water on it—that will only make the fire worse. Use a fire extinguisher or dump baking soda on the flames to put them out.

Smoking

Smoking in the house leads to many house fires and deaths every year. People who smoke in their bedrooms and fall asleep with a lit cigarette in their fingers are a danger to themselves. The cigarettes will fall onto the mattress or floor and ignite the room while the person sleeps. The safest thing to do is smoke outside.

Candles

Candles left unattended are a fire risk, too. Often, they are set too close to drapes or magazines and left alone. They smell great and add ambiance to a room, but these fragrant fixtures are still a risk. Trim the wick of the candle to reduce the flame’s size and move anything flammable away from the candle.

Children Playing With Matches

Kids are curious and want to touch everything. Leaving lighters and matches in the reach of small hands is a recipe for disaster. The kids don’t willfully start fires—they are just curious and exploring, trying to figure out how they work. Once the kids find out how it works, it’s too late, and a fire is already raging.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.