Unexpected and Uncommon Causes of Fire and Fire Damage
While you cannot control the forces that govern nature, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage that they can bring. Preparing for potential hazards is one of the best ways to protect your family and your property.
With fires, the cause can be due to a variety of factors. Yet, the interesting thing about them is that they can all be avoided. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost all of the damage caused by 360,000 house fires each year can actually be prevented.
In this regard, while most people are familiar with the most common causes of fire, there are those that are hardly considered as possible fire starters but can actually set off one.
Uncommon Causes of Fire
Some causes of fire can be surprising if not downright unusual and they include the following:
- Faulty Dishwasher Wiring
Dishwashers are useful kitchen appliances, but they can also be a potential fire risk. Water can drip onto the wires of this unit, causing unknown damage that can spark a small fire. Regular maintenance is necessary to prevent random fires from starting in a dishwasher.
- Dust Balls
This will come as a surprise to some people, but dust bunnies can be found under the furniture and in difficult-to-reach places like inside the mattress and underneath the bed. They can also cause fires if they get too close to heating units, electronic devices, and wall sockets.
- Concentrated Light
This involves fires ignited by solar light. A magnifying glass allows light to pass through and creates concentrated heat that ignites a flammable object. Although this may seem unlikely, fire starters can be created by the same light that passes through an empty glass container or a crystal item.These objects can reflect light towards flammable materials like paper or curtains, consequently starting a fire. Such a scenario can easily be avoided by properly storing your glass items.
- 9-Volt Batteries
Even though it is rare, improper disposal of a 9-volt battery can cause a fire, according to a water damage restoration Colorado Springs expert. This can start if the battery’s posts touch a piece of metal. The two should not be allowed to come into contact with one another. If you need to dispose of the batteries, place a piece of tape over the posts first.
- Overheating Laptops
When laptops are used for long periods of time, they can emit too much heat. Many gaming and desktop computers are also susceptible to overheating. Extreme heat will often set off a fire, especially if you place the laptop near flammable items or on soft surfaces such as couches or beds. Avoid fires caused by overheating computers by placing them on non-flammable surfaces. An alternative is to use cooling pads and laptop stands as a way of cooling your electronic devices.
Uncommon Causes for Fire Damage
Small fires are usually manageable and can be put out in minutes if you hurry. The bigger ones, however, can be difficult to contain and are best handled by professional firefighters.
More importantly, large conflagrations can result in extensive fire damage. The causes are usually common, although some can be quite unusual, like the following:
It is natural to use water when trying to extinguish a fire. However, using too much water can result in significant property damage. The combination of water and soot from a fire can also cause severe damage to your furnishings and other household items.
Earthquakes can lead to dangerous fires when electric and gas lines are damaged by the shaking motion. Gas that is released from broken lines can ignite and cause a firestorm.
When it comes to natural damage or causes, flood and water damage are a common combination. However, floodwaters can also start a fire if they reach nearby electric posts or if they come into contact with a low-lying live electric wire.
- Forest Fires
These can cause severe damage to wildlife and their habitats, and are sometimes due to natural forces like lightning. Many forest fires, however, are the result of human activities, accounting for almost 85% of the total incidences. Regardless of the cause, these fires are dangerous as the damage is not always limited to the forest area; if not contained quickly, they can reach nearby towns and villages.
A fire is always a dangerous thing, but the good news is that many of the causes can be easily avoided. Some, however, can be difficult to foresee because they are not really considered as potential fire starters. Good examples of these are laptops, batteries, and dishwashers.
When it comes to fire damage, water is a surprising contributor. This just goes to show that when a disaster strikes, anything can become dangerous.