When a fire investigator is called in to do an inspection of a home fire, they know exactly where to look. With an estimated 366,000 fires taking place in residential situations and causing over $7 billion in property damages, investigations need to be extremely accurate in determining the source of the flames. These experts can be contracted by local fire departments, homeowners, and even insurance companies when arson is suspected. In addition to financial loss, home fires can also be fatal, with an average of 2,300 deaths and 12,500 injuries every year. Based on the analysis of investigations from the past few years, it is surprising what a fire expert will first look for when they enter the scene of a residential fire.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not smoldering ashtrays or unattended fireplaces that are the most likely to cause a fire in the home, but something much more common - cooking equipment. Of the 366,000 residential fires each year, it is thought that cooking equipment has been the cause for around 40%. In performing a full investigation, the fire expert will often go straight for the cooking equipment to see if they are the origin of the problem. Following cooking equipment, the next most common cause of residential fires comes from heating and cooling units, such as space heaters.
Professional fire experts stress that having working smoke alarms are the most effective way to prevent injury or death in a residential fire. Too often, a fire investigator will discover after the fact that the smoke alarms present in the home either did not have charged batteries or were otherwise in a non-working state. The common consensus among those employed in investigating fires is that the best solution is to have several fire alarms throughout the home that are connected to the same system. In this manner, a fire in one area of the house will set off all the alarms, thus alerting residents of the danger and allowing for a speedy evacuation from the home. By understanding what investigators look for when they examine a residential fire, a person can become better protected should a fire occur in their own home.
What A Fire Investigator Looks For In A Home Fire