Wintertime home structure fires are shockingly common in the U.S. They cause thousands of serious injuries and deaths every year. Fire departments respond to an average of 354,400 house fires per year – the cause of about 11,220 injuries and 2,620 deaths annually. The winter months of December through February account for 30% of all home fires. As the temperatures start to drop and you prepare for the holidays, make sure you are not doing anything that could increase your risk of a home structure fire.
What to Do If You’re Injured?
If you suffer an injury in a home fire despite your best efforts to prevent one, act quickly to get yourself to a hospital for professional treatment. Use first aid when necessary to cool and cover burns until you can get help. Run room temperature water (not cold water) on the burned area and cover it loosely in soft fabric to help prevent infections. Let your friends and family members know you survived the house fire. Help get other injured people and household pets to hospitals. Then, get medical care.
Professional health care could help you avoid infection and properly heal your burn injuries. Keep evidence relating to your home fire and burn injuries for an insurance claim later, including medical records and hospital bills. Once you are back on your feet, file a homeowners insurance claim with a full description of your damages and the sum you are demanding to settle the matter. Then, hire a Dallas personal injury attorney to help you negotiate for a fair property damage and/or burn injury insurance settlement.
Be Careful What You Cook
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home structural fires, causing 49% each year from 2013 to 2017. Cooking incidents cause an average of 173,000 house fires, 5,020 injuries and 550 deaths annually. Always supervise the food you are cooking. Leaving food unattended is a leading cause of kitchen fires. Put a responsible, sober individual in charge of cooking or supervising cooking. Drinking alcohol while cooking can drastically increase the risk of a disaster such as a major kitchen fire.
Replace Old or Damaged Electrical Appliances
Old, outdated and defective electrical appliances could spark a home fire in a matter of seconds. Hire a professional to inspect your furnace, water heater, HVAC system and other major household appliances at least once per year for signs of trouble. A professional can clean and maintain your systems to help prevent fire hazards, such as a buildup of dust or grease. If an appliance has wear and tear or damage that increases its fire risk, replace it with a safer model. Before you use an appliance that you have not used in a while, look for outward signs of damage, such as cracked or frayed electrical cords. Electrical failures and malfunctions are the third-leading cause of home fires in the U.S.