More than 70% of fires recorded by insurance companies occur in the home, according to a report by Estamos Seguros. Heaters, cookers, gas installations… are some of the risks found in our homes and which, sometimes, we do not pay enough attention to. Placing an electric radiator on a rug, plugging multiple appliances into a single socket, or failing to get the gas appliances serviced, are all situations that can lead to a fire. In fact, burns and smoke inhalation are among the five most common household accidents, according to the National Consumer Institute.

Damage to your home from a fire, whether catastrophic or not, is costly. The average amount paid by insurance companies for a domestic fire is 2,000 euros, according to the study by Estamos Seguros. The typical damage involves the contents of the house: furniture, clothes, decoration… Besides the economic cost, there is also the emotional impact of not just experiencing the accident, but also of losing items that are valuable to the person concerned.

It only takes three things to start a fire in your home: air, heat and fuel, which can be clothing, wood, a rug, a flammable liquid… That's why it's important to adopt a series of precautionary measures.

How to avoid fires in the home

With some simple measures you can reduce the chances of a fire in your home. They are recommendations that minimise the risks of fire and, above all, the spread of flames. These are simple guidelines that the whole family can follow.

  • The gas installation must be serviced regularly. It is usually the companies themselves who set the timescales and arrange the service, but it is advisable that tenants are also aware of the dates for added security.
  • Do not leave pots or pans unattended on the hob while cooking and turn the handles inwards, especially if there are children in the house who can reach them.
  • If your cooker is gas, it must be vented to the outside.
  • If you use electric heaters and radiators, be careful to keep them away from clothes, carpets, curtains and other furniture, and turn them off or unplug them when you are not in the room.
  • Avoid plugging up the ventilation holes of small appliances and technological equipment.
  • Although multiple devices can be connected to the same socket using adaptors, it is not advisable to overload the socket. In the case of clothes irons or hair straighteners, always unplug them after use and leave them on a non-flammable surface until they have cooled down.
  • It is not advisable to use candles inside the house but, if you do, keep them away from other objects and never leave them unattended.

In addition to taking these precautions to prevent household fires, you can also take out household insurance to protect your home and your belongings in the event of an accident.

What to do in the event of a fire

Household fires are especially dangerous at night, when you are sleeping. A smoke alarm may be useful in this regard, as it warns you of the presence of smoke.

Keep a fire blanket at hand to be placed over pots and pans if they start to burn and a portable fire extinguisher may also be useful.

However, if a fire breaks out inside your home and you cannot put it out yourself, it is advisable to call the fire brigade and leave the house, closing all the doors on your way out to prevent the flames from spreading quickly and affecting the rest of the house. Remember to use the stairs when you leave instead of the lift.

It is also possible that the fire blocks the way out of the house. If this happens, it is recommended that you stay inside, close the doors and put wet cloths in the gaps so that no smoke enters and, of course, alert the local fire or police services.

Fires in the home are the most common types. That's why it is important to know what you can do to prevent them, to protect your home and yourselves.


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