Just after 6AM this morning, firefighters put out a blaze in a motor home near a salvage yard in Santa Ana, and sadly, a body was found inside.
Just Monday we reported on an apartment fire in Buena Park that most likely was caused by a space heater; luckily, everyone survived that fire, although one woman is still being treated for extensive burns on her body.
We understand that the economy is still very bad for many people, and everyone wants to save on their monthly heating bills. This does mean that people are looking to alternative sources of heat for their homes, offices and workspaces. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), home fires spike in winter months. Cooking and home heating are the leading causes of residential fires during the winter. The risk of fires also increases with the use of supplemental heating, such as space heaters.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that home heating was associated with an average of 33,300 fires and 180 fire deaths per year from 2005 to 2007. That’s almost 100,000 fires and over 500 deaths—that’s way too many, especially with something as preventable as home heating.
As we also mentioned in Monday’s blog, smoke detectors are crucial to saving lives. There is no excuse to remove your smoke alarm because they beep! If someone told you that all you had to do to save one or more human lives was to change a battery once a year, would you do it? Of course you would—you would be cruel and heartless to say no. When it’s your own life, and the lives of your family that you are saving, it should mean even more to you to have a working smoke alarm.
The CPSC and the USFA have published these safety tips to prevent fires in the home during the winter:
- Place space heaters on a floor that is flat and level. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials; and place space heaters out of the flow of foot traffic.
- Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn the heater off when you leave the area. We will talk about space heater safety soon.
- Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater. Even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of a fire.
- Have fireplace flues and chimneys inspected for leakage and blockage from creosote or debris every year. YES, even in California!
- Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire, and keep it open until the ashes are cool. An open damper may help prevent build-up of poisonous gases inside the home.
- Store fireplace ashes in a fire-resistant container, and cover the container with a lid. Keep the container outdoors and away from combustibles. Dispose of ashes carefully, keeping them away from dry leaves, trash or other combustible materials.
If your property, or the property of someone you know, has suffered fire or smoke damage, or water damage from the firefighters putting out the fire, please call us immediately to provide an estimate. There are many items that we can save, thanks to our advanced technology, and we can restore your home or business to how it was before the incident, at a price you can afford. We also know how to deal with your insurance company to help you see the full benefit of your coverage. Call us now: (877) 732-8471 or use our online form by clicking here.