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  • E K Fire Protection

Unexpected House Fire Causes, And How To Prevent Them

There are few incidents more terrifying within your property than a house fire, and with such unexpected occurrences often happening without any prior warning, it can feel almost impossible to prepare against them. Thankfully there are an array of practical ways in which you can safeguard your family, even accounting for the most shocking causes of house fires which will be detailed in this blog. With various appliances, expert equipment and fire alarm installation all available from EK Fire Protection, you have no need to fret when you choose to work with the most reliable fire protection companies. Give your loved ones peace of mind by reading on and discovering how to prevent some of the most unexpected yet surprisingly common causes of fires within the home. 

The Dangers Of A House Fire

In the financial year 2020 to 2021, shockingly there were 518,263 separate incidents attended by the Fire Rescue Service in England - With 240 fire-related fatalities recorded during this same period. The sheer number of fires reported is a cause for concern, with flames able to spread extremely quickly throughout a home given materials and conditions which allow the blaze to do so. Not only are the harmful flames a risk to humans and property, but the smoke produced by a large house fire can cause respiratory irritation and shortness of breath, as well as worsening medical problems such as asthma. In the very worst cases, smoke inhalation can be deadly, emphasising the importance of a fire risk assessment to eliminate any threats before they arise. 

Laundry Appliances

One utility which you probably don’t associate immediately with causing house fires is a washing machine, but these handy laundry appliances alongside tumble dryers can be dangerous. A 2018 investigation actually revealed that faulty washing machines and tumble dryers accounted for more than a third of appliance-related fires in The United Kingdom, meaning that these two seemingly harmless laundry solutions caused more than 20 fires per week on average. It is advised that you should turn off and unplug electrical appliances when not in use unless they are designed to be left on (such as a freezer or fridge). Also try not to cram too many plugs into one outlet, as this could lead to overheating.

Christmas Trees

Although a family favourite within the home during December, Christmas trees both artificial and natural have the potential to pose a real fire risk during the festive months - a time of happiness and joy. Problems with authentic Christmas trees commonly occur once the needles start to dry out, making the exterior a dangerous fire hazard due to flammability. A burning tree can also rapidly fill the room with fire and harmful gases. Fairy lights and decorations attached to your synthetic tree could also pose a fire threat, with decorations made of tissue paper or cardboard burning easily when contact is made with an open flame. When wrapping lights around the tree, pay close attention to their placement, and never leave them unattended if they are switched on. Fire alarm installation and regular maintenance will ensure that you can always remain one step ahead of unexpected fires.

Small Candles

Though large wax candles are an obvious threat, did you know that smaller decorative candles and seemingly harmless tea lights can be just as much of a threat? When placed near fabrics and objects such as curtains which can catch the open flame, fires are spread very easily. For these same reasons, you should avoid placing small or large candles next to a window, as a gust of wind can very easily blow the flame in any direction. Use stable candle holders which distance the flame from any nearby surfaces, and always blow candles out before you go to bed at night. 

Sun Rays

Remarkably enough, sun rays when shone through glass windows, glass objects and mirrored surfaces can be a genuine threat when these rays then make contact with a combustible. There have been notable recent incidents in the news which have bizarrely involved items as seemingly innocent as Nutella jars and small vanity mirrors, while Merseyside police even had to issue a warning to property owners in 2021 advising them not to place glass or reflective items on windowsills. Even during spells of cold, the sun's rays can be very strong, so heed professional advice from fire protection companies and store your jars away from direct sunlight.

Neglected Chimneys

Even if you rarely use the chimney of your home, this common utility can cause harm through everything from carbon monoxide poisoning to large-scale blazes. While our team can recommend appropriate action to take following a fire safety check, a chimney cleaner should also be consulted on a regular basis. The combustion of wood creates harmful byproducts which can form within the chimney stack. Creosote is one such substance which sticks to interior components, and without regular chimney sweeping, the creosote hardens into a dark flammable substance which can instantly be set alight when it makes contact with rising smoke or ash.

Curious Kids

Though you may see your children as angels, curiosity can get the best of us all at times, and items as small as matches and lighters can be dangerous in the wrong little hands. It goes without saying but watching your children at all times is important, especially when flammable objects or open flames are around. Teach your children about the dangers of fires at an early age to encourage proper behaviour, and remember not to leave potentially dangerous objects within reach. If you are worried about the safety of your home and family, book a safety check with certified experts to put your mind at ease.

Invest In Your Safety

EK Fire Protection have been at the forefront of detailed fire risk assessment checks and the fire safety industry for a number of years, offering a 24 hour callout facility to each and every customer. With equipment, alarms and extensive fire safety checks all available within Kent, London and the entirety of Southern England. View some of our comprehensive services and selections below:

Fire alarms are an essential within any home, quickly notifying those present of smoke detection. We can install smoke detectors around your premises, as well as maintain existing fire alarms which you have installed. Regular maintenance is recommended, as you may only realise that your alarm isn’t functioning correctly when it’s too late.

Extinguishers are a handy tool within commercial settings as well as domestic. Functioning via a trigger, an extinguisher will deploy a large amount of dry chemical foam to cover the area of the blaze, causing a chemical reaction which will see a carbon dioxide solution smothering the fire.

In the world of business, safety compliance is essential, with offices, warehouses and all manner of workplaces requiring regular safety checks to ensure employee welfare. Just as important is protecting your home, with our trained safety professionals able to act as consultants, reviewing the safety of your property and offering advice and recommendations when appropriate - all at an affordable rate.

EK Fire Protection: Safety Solutions For A Variety Of Customers

EK Fire Protection are your friendly local provider of fire safety solutions for both domestic and commercial settings. Our solutions help you to protect your property, family and assets from destructive flames, with fire risk assessments a necessity for the responsible home or business owner. Such a service will help you to understand the threats and risks within your premises, offering peace of mind that you are secure against the very real threat of a blaze. Whether you own a large organisation, manage a small company or simply want to protect your family, we can ensure that you are prepared with appropriate equipment and alarms.


Professional, experienced and friendly, our team are proud to provide a service to shout about. Functional throughout the South East of the country, we can even arrange and oversee training courses so that your staff are aware of best practices if and when a hazard does arise. As one of the leading fire protection companies in the area, we work closely with businesses and individuals to ensure they are adequately covered when it comes to fire safety. Any questions about fire alarm installation or safety audits? Simply contact us today.on 01304 210909.

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