Sterling Construction has been rebuilding burned homes since 1991 and we have seen our share of unusual circumstances that caused a fire. But for the most part there are just a few things that cause the majority of fires.
Fire Damage to the interior part of the home
As summer is approaching here in California we have the unfortunate reality that fire season is coming with it. Over the last few years California has experienced some of the worst fires in history that have destroyed thousands of homes. We here at Sterling General Construction want to ensure that you can do what is in your control to protect yourself, your family and your home. But most of us don't live in a wildfire prone area so most of what you can do to keep your home safe are normal .
The cause of house fires can vary from wildfires that will burn up to 1500 homes in one day to cooking fires, electrical fires, candles or other items that you have in your home that could potentially start a fire.
Cooking fires are common and can be caused from the following: stove top ranges where burners have been left on to grease fires going into the hood vent and then exploding into the attic. The cabinets which are directly above the stove top can also go up in flames. These may be preventable by ensuring that you are aware of the above causes, paying close attention when you are cooking in grease and taking care to cover the pot or pan. And once you are done cooking being aware that all burners are turned off and remove anything on or near the stove that could potentially start a fire.
Electrical fires most commonly have to do with “faulty workmanship” from non professional electricians who have taped into the existing system or changed out an appliance incorrectly. Be sure you call a professional out to handle all of your electrical problems for your safety.
Candles are candles and the candles in the jars are the safest. As we don’t intend to forget to blow out the candle before we leave. We suggest that when you use a candle place it in a place that will be obvious for you to see before you leave the house. Keep it away from curtains or any items that could catch fire.
Oily rags can spontaneously combust. If you have been working with oily products and have been using a rag ensure that you handle those right away and do not leave them out. The proper way to dispose of an oily rag is to soak it in water and then leave it out on the patio spread out to dry. We see many house fires from this cause which is very preventable.
Gasoline in the garage has the potential to catch fire especially if your water heater is not elevated. If you have gas cans that you use for any purpose be sure to store away from the home.
With summer time comes bbq season. As we all like to entertain and eat good bbq food ensure that your bbq is 10-15 feet away from your house. Having it too close to the house has the potential of bbqing more than what you intended.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES
Once a house starts to catch fire there can be there will be many forms of damage that will take place. The obvious is direct fire damage where items will partially or fully burn. Another is smoke damage. Smoke can damage items as it will seep into and stay into items like your carpets, couches and other materials. The smell is horrific and those items are ruined and will need to be replaced. You will also get water damage to other things from the use of the water to put out the fires.
With all of the above it is vitally important that if you have not already you need to take clear and detailed pictures of all of your valuable items inside and outside of your house. Be sure to include everything. Once you have taken the pictures you need to store them on a cloud or if not keep them away from the home. It can be likely that your phone, camera or computer will get ruined in a fire. If you do not store them on a cloud you will lose access to all of your photos of all of your valuables that potentially your insurance covers and will replace.