It’s not something you probably think about often, but unfortunately hundreds of thousands of home fires happen all over the country each year and not only claim lives or harm people and animals but also lead to substantial property damage and the loss of a lot of money.
While there are excellent service providers such as Service Master Restore who can help you to clean up fire and smoke damage after a home fire, it’s obviously beneficial to try to avoid ending up in this situation to start with.
When it comes to home fires, though, many misconceptions abound which leave people in the dark and often believing incorrect and dangerous information. To ensure you keep yourself and your family safe, read on for some of the most common myths about home fires you need to know about today.
The Smell of Smoke Will Wake You
One of the biggest misconceptions is that if there’s a fire in your home during the night, the smell of smoke will wake you, and you’ll have enough time to leave. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, oftentimes people don’t wake up at all from the smell or only wake up because they start to choke from the smoke entering their body. By this time, it can be too late.
Also, note that if there is carbon monoxide in the smoke, this will actually keep you sleeping. As such, it’s wise to have multiple fire detectors around your home, including right near all the bedrooms, so you will be awoken with enough time to escape if a fire does break out.
Most Fires Are Caused by Cooking Accidents or Candles
While it’s true that many home fires are caused each year by accidents in the kitchen, or through the use of candles, don’t think that most fires are caused by just these two scenarios. There are numerous risks which you and your family need to understand and work to prevent.
For example, fires can also start from people smoking, especially if they fall asleep with a lit cigarette, or when children play with fire when their parents aren’t home or when they’re otherwise unsupervised. Fires can also start from heating sources, electrical equipment, wiring, flammable liquids, Christmas trees and other decorations, etc.
Flames Are What Cause Injury and Death
You might think you’re not in real danger until flames come close to you in a fire, but this is simply not correct. The myth is that flames are what cause the most injuries and death in home fires, but in actual fact the smoke that spreads through a property, often much more quickly than flames, can cause considerable damage to the body and lead to death.
Just inhaling smoke for three minutes can be enough to lead to permanent injury or loss of life. Smoke not only fills lungs (often with nasty chemicals from burning furniture, carpets, drywall and other materials), but it also makes homes very dark. This, in turn, disorients people, meaning they can’t find an exit and soon fall unconscious.
Newer Homes Are Much Safer Than Older Ones
Many people mistakenly think that just because they have a nice, new home, there’s no danger of a fire being caused by electrical faults or similar issues. However, keep in mind that the age of a home is actually a poor way to tell whether a fire will start or not. Faulty wiring can occur in even the newest of homes; plus most fires start because of human error anyhow, which means the age of your home doesn’t come into play much at all.
There’s Enough Time to Grab Your Important Belongings Before You Get Out
Another thing people believe on the topic of home fires is that once they’re aware of a fire, they’ll have enough time to grab their important belongings before exiting the building. This, unfortunately, is wishful thinking. If your home is on fire, you need to get out ASAP – within 30 seconds is recommended. Fire and smoke spreads much more quickly than you realize; plus there is also the chance of what’s known as a flashover occurring. A flashover is where a fire burns so intently and with such heat that everything ignites at once.
Children Know to Leave a House if There’s a Fire
You might think because you have talked to your children about what to do in a fire, or because they’ve been taught about it at school, they will know to leave your house if a fire occurs, particularly in the middle of the night when everyone is separated in their own bedrooms. However, this is not necessarily the case. Often, no matter what they have been told to do, when a fire actually happens children get scared and hide from smoke or flames, instead of fleeing. This is also the case for very young children who are too small to have fire safety practices drilled into them.