This week is National Fire Prevention Week. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011, home fires caused 13,910 injuries, 2,520 deaths, and caused $6.9 billion dollars in direct damage. Water heaters can be particularly deadly because of the high risk of explosion. In 2005, there were an estimated 7,300 reported home fires involving water heaters that caused 70 deaths, 310 injuries, and $141 million in property damage.
Prevent this common cause of home fires with a few water heater fire prevention maintenance steps.
Water Heater Fire Facts
- In 2005, water heaters were the cause of 12% of all home heating-related fires, and 10% of civilian deaths.
- Gas water heaters tend to be a higher risk for fires than electric-powered equipment.
- The highest risk home location for water heater fires is the laundry room.
- Water heaters are the cause of 7% of home fires, and 4% of home fire deaths.
Water Heater Fire Prevention
- First and foremost: regular maintenance and inspection of your water heater will go a long way toward keeping your home safe from a fire started by your water heater.
- Make certain that your water heater’s installation is up to code, and that the manufacturer’s instructions have been followed.
- Mark a “combustible-free” zone three feet away from your water heater with masking tape. Keeping items such as clothing, rags, and even liquid combustibles such as paint thinner will go a long way toward keeping your water heater from igniting something nearby.
- Double-check that the protective combustion chamber covers are in place.
- Lower the temperature: it should be set between 120 and 130 degrees fahrenheit.
Check out these other tips from Casey’s on water heater fire prevention and other safety steps you can take to keep your home fire-free.
Gas Water Heaters: Most Common Problems Explained To Regular People – includes a section on how to safely relight your pilot light.
Remember: one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe in case of a fire is to make certain you have working smoke detectors in your home. Test your smoke alarms monthly.
Got Questions? We Have Answers
We are available to take your calls 24/7, and we service the greater Portland area, including Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Gresham and Troutdale. Call us if you start on your do-it-yourself project and need some help. We can answer your questions. Stay safe out there!