A thing that any homeowner dreads is the threat of fire starting somewhere in their home. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) states that there are over 10,000 attic fires every year. These fires result in over $440 million in property damage.
While newly updated building codes and flame-retardant building materials have worked to reduce these numbers, the fact is that the total number of attic fires hasn’t decreased. This means that homeowners should be aware of the risk their attics and attic insulation may pose, and take steps that will help keep their homes as safe as possible.
What are the leading causes of attic fires?
The absolute most common cause of attic fires in residential homes is an electrical malfunction. Sometimes circuits get overloaded, and if the breaker fails to trip, the overloaded circuit could cause a fire. Electrical overloads that overheat in attic insulation and other parts of the home are responsible for approximately 43% of all residential attic fires.
Another common cause of attic fires is heating. Studies show that around 5% of attic fires are started when home heating systems malfunction.
The third major cause of residential attic fires is those caused by natural sources. Natural sources are a broad category that includes lightning, damage from fallen branches or trees, and rainwater that seeps into electrical systems. Any of these can cause a spark to ignite attic insulation, leading to a fire that can spread quickly through the attic.
What can I do to protect my attic from a fire?
While there is very little you can do to protect your home from a fire started by natural causes, the good news is that there is plenty you can do to protect from electrical and heating fires. Have your HVAC serviced regularly by a professional to ensure that it is working correctly and there are no fire hazards in play. Regular duct cleaning removes dust, lint, and other debris, preventing any spark from catching hold.
An electrician can inspect the wiring present in your attic to ensure it is in good condition. Finally, be aware of the power your electronics and appliances use, making sure to avoid overloads in the first place.
Have an attic professional inspect your attic insulation to make sure that it meets current fire standards. Attic insulation plays a crucial role in making sure that your attic remains safe from fire. Not only will the proper attic insulation stop the flames from spreading, but ensuring that you have the right attic insulation will make your home safer in other ways as well, by preventing the growth of mold, for example.
How do I know if my attic is safe?
Contact us! We are experts when it comes to attic safety. We know how to keep your attic clean and sanitized and know precisely how to keep your attic insulation working as it should. We’ll perform a thorough inspection and let you know if there are any areas of concern. Hopefully, there are no problems, but if there are, our professionals know exactly how to make things right.
We look forward to helping you have the safest home possible!