At Pro Restoration, we’ve dealt with cleaning up fire and smoke damage many times—and there have been some very strange, unnecessary, and outright silly reasons that the fire was started in the first place. Fires can be caused by common things (cooking accidents) or completely off-the-wall things (see our list below). Either way, it’s good to be educated about everything that could create a fire within your home or office in order to uphold the best practices for fire safety.
Alcohol + Cigarettes
An Ohio man who was having trouble with bedbugs decided the best way to get rid of them was to spray his infested couch with rubbing alcohol. While he performed this experiment, he was smoking a cigarette. This man obviously caused a house fire and had to be treated for burns.
A family in Oregon decided to cut a hole in their family room to use as an ashtray. (Seriously—why not just buy an ashtray?) Of course, this lead to problems. The cigarettes and ashes that the family had been throwing into their “ashtray” caused a fire to break out in their basement, which ended up costing thousands of dollars in damage.
This is a mistake that many homeowners make. Linseed oil is one of the biggest underrated enemies of fire safety. It’s used to polish wood, but unfortunately, the oil can also cause fires. It’s safe on wood, but when the oil is left on the rags that people have polished with, it can spontaneously cause a fire due to the chemicals building up. It doesn’t need anything to start it, like a spark—it will just happen on its own.
An elderly woman in South Carolina had empty glass jars lined up on her windowsill. When the sunlight was refracted by one of these jars and was concentrated on her window’s curtains, it caused a fire in her kitchen. This occurrence happens from time to time: refracted light fires have been started by glass doorknobs, glass wind chimes, and even glass panes left leaning against walls.
A teenage boy in Texas attempted to dry his wet underwear in the microwave. The elastic band on the underwear burst into flames and caused significant fire and smoke damage to the kitchen area. What should and should not go into a microwave should be common fire safety knowledge, but many people are clueless when it comes to this area. When it comes to microwaves, avoid putting in cloth, paper, metal, and plastic.
Wall Air Fresheners
Many residents use those amazing-smelling plug-in air fresheners. However, use these with caution (if you must use them at all). There are several dangerous factors associated with them, and they have been the cause of many house fires. Many of them are made from very thin plastic, and the wall outlets can get extremely hot. If you leave them plugged in for too long, you’re at a big risk for a fire. If you use them, unplug them at night or when you leave the house.
Education about fire safety is critical. Even extreme stories like these are good to be aware of, since mistakes like these do get made. We’ve definitely seen our share of “silly accident fires” at Pro Restoration. If you are ever in a situation where you need expert fire damage restoration services in the Las Vegas area, please contact us. We are fire and smoke damage professionals who can help you no matter how your fire got started!