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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are Some Common Causes of Fire Damage Disasters in the Bathroom?

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County, a damage restoration company serving the Crowley and South Johnson County areas, advises homeowners regarding some common causes of fire damage in the bathroom.

The fire damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County understand that a house fire of any size in the home is dangerous and traumatic. The painfully loud shrill of the smoke alarm, the darkness of a smoke-filled home, the shouts to flee the house, the rush to dress and grab a few belongings, and the bright lights and commotion of fire engines and firefighters arriving on the scene to save lives and extinguish the flames make a residential fire a memory that will not soon be forgotten.

One of the most dangerous and inconvenient locations for a fire to break out is the bathroom. Many of life’s daily activities can only happen in the bathroom, and a fire in the bathroom disrupts life at its core. The bathroom has many electrical fixtures and lots of moisture points. Unfortunately, electricity and water do not go together well, making the bathroom one of the most dangerous rooms in a home or apartment if proper safety precautions are not followed.

Here are some common causes of fire damage in the bathroom and tips on how to avoid them.

  1. Malfunctioning, unattended, or misused appliances

A hairdryer is an example of a bathroom appliance that can spit sparks and flames when it malfunctions. In the rush of morning preparations for work or school, the temptation is to squeeze as much use out of the appliance as possible. However, giving in to this temptation could result in fire damage in the bathroom. Instead, unplug the worn-out device, let it cool to ensure no fire hazard remains, and discard it in a safe manner.

Unattended appliances pose a greater danger in the moist environment of the bathroom. Never leave electrical devices unattended in the bathroom. Space heaters should be kept level and on a firm surface. A laptop left on a cloth toilet seat cover or on a throw rug can overheat and cause a fire. Charging electronic devices using the power socket next to the bathroom sink while one is bathing or sleeping involves great risk.

Misusing a small space heater or other appliance to dry a towel, washcloth, wet socks, or other clothing should be avoided entirely. Space heaters get very hot and can quickly ignite flammable fabrics, even if the fabrics are damp or wet.

A fire damage disaster occurred recently when a wet towel was hung over a light fixture to dry. The local news report reads, “Firefighters said when they arrived, they found smoke in two apartments. They said they at first believed the fire to be mechanical in nature, but later found the fire was caused by a towel hung on a light fixture in a bathroom. Firefighters found the smoldering towel and were able to put out the fire. No one was hurt.”

Use extension cords appropriately. Do not run the excess cord under rugs or near flammable items. A space heater and a handheld hair dryer put a heavy load on an extension cord and may cause the cord to overheat. The best safety practice is to avoid using an extension cord in the bathroom.

  1. Candles

For obvious reasons, scented candles are a popular bathroom decoration that serve a practical function. The bathroom, often the smallest room in a home, is a hub of activity. Candles can easily be knocked over or forgotten and left to burn for hours or days. An open flame in a bathroom can have disastrous effects, considering the many highly flammable solutions often used or stored in the room. Alcohol is only one of these highly flammable liquids.

  1. Spraying an aerosol near an open flame or space heater

Aerosols, such as hair spray and disinfectant cleaners, are often used in the bathroom. However, they are highly flammable and can be ignited by a candle, space heater, or a spark from an overloaded circuit or extension cord. The safest approach is to avoid using an aerosol in a confined area. Appliances should be turned off, and candles should be extinguished before using an aerosol.

  1. Keeping flammable objects too close to fire hazards

Facial tissue, cleansing pads, and wipes are indispensable in the bathroom, but they are easily ignited when left too close to a fire hazard like a space heater, candle, or hairdryer. Avoid a potential fire hazard by properly disposing of these items after each use. Facial tissue should not be flushed down the toilet because it does not break down quickly and can clog sewer pipes.

  1. Bathroom exhaust fan

The bathroom exhaust fan is the unsung hero of the bathroom. With the flip of a switch, foul smells and moisture are quickly removed from the environment. However, these fans need proper maintenance and cleaning to ensure they perform their task effectively and safely. If the exhaust fan makes odd noises, gives off a burning odor, or fails to spin freely, take immediate steps to have the device replaced. The replacement should be thermally protected so that if the unit overheats, it will automatically shut off.

Paying close attention to small details can save lives. Understanding the causes of fire damage in the bathroom can help homeowners and their families stay safe. Having adequate fire safety practices in place is crucial for fire safety in the home. Creating an emergency response plan will prepare the family for the worst of situations.

Pre-selecting a reputable and trusted fire damage restoration company before a crisis hits should be a part of every readiness plan. As a locally owned and operated business, the SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County team lives and works in this community and is ready to respond immediately when a home or business needs property damage restoration or cleaning services. Service areas include Crowley, Cleburne, Joshua, and surrounding areas.

For more information about fire damage restoration in Cleburne, TX, contact the office by phone at (817) 297-8588 or by email at office@SERVPROcrowley.com.

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