You might be surprised how many flammable products you keep in your home and garage.
The following can ignite or explode if stored improperly:
- fuels like kerosene, oil, and gas
- solvents like benzene
- cleaning agents
How serious of a situation is this?
Vapors can easily ignite from even just high temperatures or weak ignition sources (one spark of static electricity). Don’t store flammable liquids near a heating source but, ideally, outside your home in approved containers located in a cool ventilated area.
Remember that any one of these items listed above can become a fire bomb if you keep them close to a heat source.
How serious is this?
In the last few years, U.S. municipal fire departments responded to an estimated average of:
- 51,600 fires per year starting with the ignition of a flammable gas resulting in 168 civilian deaths, 1,029 civilian injuries, and $644 million in direct property damage per year.
- 160,910 fires per year starting with the ignition of a flammable or combustible liquid resulting in an estimated 454 civilian deaths, 3,910 civilian injuries, and $1.5 billion in direct property damage per year.
What causes a flammable gas or chemical fire to occur?
Flammable gas and chemicals have vapors that can easily ignite from high temperatures or a spark of static electricity. Now you can see why we called this a ticking fire bomb. If stored incorrectly or used within a dangerously close proximity to an open heat source, spark or flame it could lead to a deadly disaster.
What can we do to prevent this from happening?
First, you should identify any potential flammable or combustible chemicals found in your home. Not sure what is flammable or not? Simply refer to the list we began this article with. Still not sure? Then simply look on the label. It will clearly state any flammability.
- Make sure all cans are completely closed.
- Don’t store flammable liquids near a heating source.
- Store them outside the home in a cool ventilated area if possible
- Store them in approved containers.
- Store them in a locked metal cabinet to keep children from hurting themselves.
- Never store propane or natural gas inside your home.
More helpful tips:
- If you use a torch, welder, or soldering iron, then please be sure to keep your open heat source away from any flammable liquids or gases. Be sure to turn the torch off completely allowing it to cool off before putting it away.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in your shop, basement or garage where you store these chemicals.
- Install a smoke detector in this area.
- Keep a metal can with a lid on it for oily rags to be stored to prevent spontaneous combustion.
- Don’t store these in a closet with a water heater or your heating equipment.
- Keep these away from wood stoves and fireplaces.
Flammable chemicals and gases serve their purpose in our home. However, using them comes with a definite responsibility. We hope these fire safety tips will help protect you, your family and your home. If you have any questions about your homeowner’s fire insurance policy please contact us today at InsuranceHub.