The Knitty Gritty

Wildfire starts in your home: fire safety for summer 2021

Wildfire starts in your home: fire safety for summer 2021

You weren’t thinking about the Pacific Northwest wildfire issue while shopping for socks, so if you were not prepared for a rundown on wildfire safety for your home, we would like to present to you our Smokey Bear socks

If you do have the time, as part of our commitment to earth-conscious practices like recycled wool socks or our organic bamboo socks, we would like to condense some info. on such a pressing issue to those of us along the Pacific Northwest. Here is a quick list of practices you can do in the home to prevent fires this summer!

Approximately 95% of wildfires in California are caused by human activity.” (Ready For Wild Fire Organization)

How Fires Go Wild
They get drunk and call an old flame. Just kidding. 

Once a home is set on fire, it can quickly spread out to the yard and into the wild faster than one could expect. In California specifically, constant wind could sweep up a small house fire into a full blown wildfire, taking flames miles away. It really is us that can only prevent wildfires!

Where Fires Start in The Home
Smoking materials and cooking activities make up for a majority of fires in the home, alongside heating appliances (which no one will be needing this summer) and electrical outlets. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2014. These fires caused 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in direct property damage. 

In that statistic, 39% of smoking material related fires happened in the bedroom. 

Besides smoking, 21 fire by candle cases are reported each day, with Christmas being the peak day for a candle fire. On average, it is the most soothing way to burn your house down. 

Kitchen Fires
49% of house fires are cooking related. Although fires could occur while you are cooking, it is more often that one will forget they were cooking in the first place. The One Less Spark Campaign identified these fire facts:

  • Clothing is the item first ignited in less than 1% of kitchen fires, but clothing ignitions lead to 8% of the home cooking equipment fire deaths.
  • Unattended equipment is a factor in one-third (31%) of reported home cooking fires and over half (53%) of the associated deaths.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Ranges or cooktops account for three-fifths (61%) of home cooking fire incidents.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve.
  • Frying oil accounted for the highest cause of kitchen fires.

Here are some safe practices to prevent kitchen fires, specifically oil fires:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.

Goats: A Sure-Fire Way to Prevent Wildfire

This is an actual, viable solution to the California Wildfires, this was not just an excuse to mention our cute goat socks.

Brush Goats 4 Hire is a company in Southern California that utilizes a goat’s diet to stop wildfire. No kidding. They do this through several ways:

  • Goats eat the small, extremely flammable low lying brush, which makes it harder for fires to extend their reach
  • They also eat certain weeds and shrubs that can grow up to eight feet and set fire to the area’s canopy trees and destroy them too (a huge problem once it gets going)
  • Their urine contains a lot of nutrients that native Californian plants love 

You think we are kidding,
but see for yourself!

Although a goat might be in your budget, it might be easier that you and your family practice general safety and responsibility for your energy use.

To read more about preventing wildfires, here are some resources:

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