A House fire is a disastrous incident that can take lives and destroy properties at a glance if adequate precaution and care are not taken. This article discusses house fire issues and how preempting care should be taken to curtail the effect of fire on a property.
What are the Causes of House Fires?
House fires can be caused by several events knowingly and unknowingly and lead to unfavourable and undesirable conditions. Some of the events that cause house fires are discussed below.
Malfunctioning of Electrical Appliances: Faulty electrical or electronic appliances can trigger fire in a property, as a result of a failed circuit, cut wires, loading or excess pressure could damage electrical appliances and ignite a fire outbreak.
Reckless Handling of Gas Cylinders: Gas cylinders are meant for cooking, it is to be carefully turned off after use but when carelessly handled, such as not turning off the gas after use, loosed gas burner or improper placement of the cylinder to avoid it from falling can lead to escape of gas which flames up when there is a stroke of matches or contact with a naked fire in the premises.
Hanging Curtains or Flammable Material in the Kitchen: Flammable materials can easily catch fire when close to the cooking areas. When this material catches fire, the fire immediately starts circulating on the premises
Cooking Carelessness: While cooking, you are supposed to sit in the kitchen and watch while the food gets ready. If the food is not monitored, it could lead to fire outbreaks and further loss of lives and properties. Perhaps proper care should be ensured with utmost urgency. When stovetops, malfunctioning cooking areas and grease fires are unattended, it can result in house fires.
The Use of Candle Lights: Candle lights have resulted in many fire outbreaks in homes across the world. It is not that the use of candle sticks is inappropriate, it’s the risk involved when proper care is not taken to ensure that it does not fall off or burn out to get in contact with flammable materials such as wooden materials, cotton materials, paper, plastic materials etc. the user of candle stick must make sure not to doze off while the candle stills flames better still, the candles should be placed on a metal stand rather than on an ordinary floor, tabletop or bedside.
Cigarette Smoking: Cigarette smokers in the home should be extremely careful not to drop the used cigarette sticks on flammable materials in the house to forestall the burning of the entire house. Smoking is better done outside the premises where the risk of a house fire is limited or very unlikely to occur.
Improper Use of Home Heating Devices: When home heating devices such as water heaters, boilers, space heaters, and wood stoves are not handled with extreme caution, it could lead to a house fire and destroy household equipment and the entire house in cases of uncontrollable fire incidents.
The Consequences of House Fire
House fire can result in unprecedented events that can have a ripple effect on real estate investments. When a property is gutted by fire, the impact of the fire brings negative outcomes which are discussed below:
- Destruction of Properties: The advent of fire outbreaks destroys properties, partly or permanently. This means that the property will no longer be tenantable for a long time until the property is renovated or built which might take several months to achieve depending on the finances available to carry out the task.
- Stoppage of Returns: As long as the property is in a state of disrepair due to destructions caused by fire, tenants can no longer live in it thereby creating a void which might prolong for a long period. Hence, the periodic returns in the form of rents receivable from the property had it been in a tenantable condition will automatically stop coming. The property owner will have to revert to other means of income to sustain and take care of the daily needs.
- Debt: A fire outbreak would most definitely create a huge debt gap for the property owner, particularly when funds were borrowed to build the house. The financial strength to pay back both principal and interest will then fail. The property owner will have to rely on other income streams to keep body and soul together and gradually pay off the loan.
- Delay in Capital Recoupment: Property owners who solely rely on their investment properties for funds to recover the capital sum thrown into the investment will have a heartbreak when the property is destroyed by fire.
- Health Challenge: So many health issues have been recorded in recent times due to house fire. Severe health conditions such as stroke, insanity, and unconsciousness are caused by the shock of losing an investment to fire.
Ways of Preventing House Fire
The beautiful part of this whole house fire issue is that it can be avoided if the following precautionary measures are taken often.
Use of Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers help stop small fires from escalating, hence installing the basic firefighting equipment like the extinguisher saves you the stress of replacing house furniture or renovating a burnt house when you could have stopped it from its source.
Ensuring Electric Safety: Periodic checks on house electronic gadgets and materials by experts ensure a reduction in sparks from naked or damaged wires, hence preventing sudden fire outbreaks. When experts examine the electric fittings, they may advise on issues causing frequent overloading of the electric circuits and subsequent replacement of faulty appliances forth with.
The use of candles in the home should be avoided, rather a rechargeable torch or electric bulb will reduce the chances of fire problems in the house.
Smoking cigarettes should not be done in the house or dropped just anywhere in the home to prevent the flames from picking light or flammable objects. Smoking should be outside the premises and should be in the day not night.
Adhering to simple security guidelines on heating devices and equipment coupled with periodic maintenance of combustible materials by professional electrical maintenance personnel will keep the house safe from fire disasters.
Parents must ensure to keep matches away from children. The farther matches are from the reach of children the better. Not just matches, gas lighters should neither be used in front of children nor kept in places their hands can easily reach.
Installation of security alarm systems: Alarm systems help to signal residents in a building of an imminent fire breach and provide an option of either escaping, securing valuables or terminating the fire.
Contact fire services: The surest way to stop a fire outbreak in a property irrespective of the time the fire started is to contact the fire service for help. For comprehensive contacts of firefighting offices in Nigeria click here.
House Components and Materials that Easily Flames Up During Fire Outbreak
- House Furniture: House furniture such as wardrobes, doors, cabinets, wooden closets, tables, cushions etc. easily flame up when a fire breaks out. These furniture are usually expensive to replace, hence should be moved out once there is fire incident in house so they won’t be destroyed.
- The Roof: The type of roofing sheets used in a house determines how fast the roof will burn during a fire disaster, for example, corrugated iron roofing sheets burn faster than aluminium roofing sheets. In the rural areas, thatch roofs are more prone to fire.
- Wooden Trusses: The wooden trusses or skeleton catches fire quickly once fire touches the ceiling there is a high chance of the trusses getting burnt and if this happens, quenching the fire becomes more difficult because the flames are bound to transfer from one apartment to another apartment in a glimpse.
- Wood Wall: Wood walls are walls made from wood materials. Wood materials such as softwoods, plywood and even hardwoods are necessarily quicker to catch fire than block walls.