These Stories From The Fire Department About Misuse Of Household Items Could Save Your House And Your Life

Fire can be a mortal hazard. It destroys everything in its way. You can lose all your possessions and see your home burned down in under an hour. Fire can reduce a forest to nothing but charred wood, smoke, and ash. It can be utilized as a powerful weapon due to nearly unlimited destructive power. Fire is a cause of death all over the world more than any other force of nature. People can be irresponsible with fire hazards. It is less than conscientious about lighting up candles in the living room and leave the room idle for hours.

Fire departments witness accidents daily. They had enough; they want to inform the public of the potential danger. The fact is many dangerous hazards are residing in our households. Some household items, such as mentioned in these stories, are truly what will put you and your loved ones at risk.

Firefighters Embark On Some Important Stories

Source: Pinterest

Nobody knows what kind of work firefighting is. You might have had the chance to catch a few details if you are friends with a fireman. These stories cannot begin to explain the chaos at the time of the incident. Firefighting is outright risking your life to save others.

It is a firefighter’s job to keep the people around them safe and sound. Oregon’s Umatilla County Fire District #1 has its brave firemen share stories. These rescue missions deliver what it can be like to make one ridiculous mistake. Firefighters encounter such negligence daily.

Most Fires Start From the Living Room

Halle Berry in a police role
Source: Newsday

The living room is usually where the fires usually start. It has furniture, ornaments, candles and much more that burns and keeps the fire going. Items such as wooden flooring, videotapes, wooden flooring, and photographs all aid the fire. Therefore, many fire incidents reported around the year start essentially in the living room.

It can happen anytime. You could be sleeping or cozying up watching a movie. The pungent smell of the fire spills the room followed by black smoke, its disaster from thereon. After that, everything happens within minutes, the alarm, the firemen, etc.

Popping Noises Followed By Smoke

Source: Tonya Mork

This incident is from December of 2018. It happened when a resident of Missouri heard popping noises in the house. What followed next made him reach out to the telephone and call the authorities. It was black smoke followed by a pungent smell. He instantly got in contact with 9-1-1.

After listening to his complaint, the 9-1-1 respondent asked for details of his residence. Then the fire department was alerted. In situations of extreme panic such as a fire hazard, one must step back and try to think clearly. On being sure of the hazard, they must alert the authorities before the situation becomes life-threatening.

As the Gravois Fire Protection District accessed the Situation

Source: Flickr

The firefighters from the Gravois Fire Protection District promptly rushed to the scene. The few initial tasks of firefighters include fire suppression, rescue, fire prevention, basic first aid, and investigations. They look forward to containing the situation. The damage could be potentially catastrophic, but time was ticking.

Therefore, as soon as the firemen reached the residence, they accessed the situation. Their priority was to check for any human casualties. The second was to figure out the source of the fire and eliminate that. In most cases, it is a common culprit. The firefighters from experience can detect the source of the fire within minutes.

Not a Hero at All

Electric space heater
Source: vklmfire

As assumed in this situation by the firemen, it was the one and the only – a space heater. Electric space heaters are one of the leading causes of incidents, including most deaths and injuries. Oil and paraffin heaters are a high risk too, but they are used scarcely now. Therefore, as soon as the firemen arrived, they were not surprised.

To a Firefighter, space heaters are nothing less than a demonic device. The device that caused the catastrophe was plugged into a wall socket. The fireman yanked the damaged heating unit promptly. The Space heater was called Heating Hero. Not a hero at all.

Portable Space Heaters Are a Common Culprit for House Fires

Two people sitting on a flaming couch
Source: Mental Flare

Thankfully, the owner of the house was unharmed. The fact is more than a few times it is the space heaters that cause terrible house fires. Despite their usability to keep warm during the winter months, they are a potential hazard. The  (NFPA) is reminding the public to use them with caution.

Space heaters present potential fire hazards when their mechanical working has been affected. This, in turn, causes motors to run harder, increased utility bills and shortens the lifespan of the unit. Of greater concern, though, is ensuring residents are not breathing contaminated air riddled with pollutants.

The Danger that Accompanies a Space Heater

Space heater on fire
Source: ABC News

Space heaters can be more dangerous than they appear. If they’re improperly used or even just short circuit, they burn everything in their way. This includes wooden floors and carpets. It takes less than a few minutes for the fire to catch onto your couch and spread all over the room.

Therefore, it is necessary to have qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. Furthermore, it is also advised to get chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

National Fire Protection Association’s Reports on Structural Fires

Girl standing in front of house fire
Source: Reddit

The National Fire Protection Association reports that between the years 2011- 2015, heating solutions were the cause of 15 percent of American house fires. 43 percent of the fires were specifically caused by space heaters. In 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 56,000 structure fires per year in homes that involved heating equipment.

The casualties of these fires were 470 civilian deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1.0 billion in direct property damage. 53 percent of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn. These things include upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, or bedding.

Do Not Plug Space Heaters Into a Power Strip

Burnt power strip
Source: CBS News

As characterized, space heaters can be problematic. The Umatilla County Fire District #1 reported that space heaters are especially dangerous when paired with other malfunctioning devices. It like inviting danger and guaranteeing it pays a visit. That is to say, space heaters plugged into power strips pose a major fire risk.

Space heaters are machines that generate a lot of energy. These heating elements sometimes reaching 600°F, which means they should never be plugged directly into a wall outlet. When hooked up to a power strip or extension cord, the outlet can overheat, causing it to short-circuit or to potentially catch fire.

Stay Aware About The Dos and Don’ts Of a Space Heater

Burnt power strip
Source: Scary Mommy

When using a space heater, there are some guidelines one must abide by. The first one is to make sure the model of your space heater is up-to-date with the latest safety features. Secondly, make sure the space heater is an appropriate size for the room you’re trying to heat.

Furthermore, electric space heaters should always be kept at ground level and far away from any furniture. The fire district specifically warns plugging a space heater directly into an extension cord. These extension cords can reach a staggering high of 600 degrees Fahrenheit which can melt the whole thing down with one power surge.

Extension Wires Cannot Be Trusted To Handle The High Current Flow

Salvadore Dali painting
Source: Pinterest

The fire district seems to be specifically frustrated with extension cords. These cords are not designed for high current flow. Therefore, the flow needed for a space heater and can overheat the cord or catch fire. Hence, it is strongly advised to keep space heaters away from extension cords or power strips.

Furthermore, the department warns that setting the space heater thermostat higher will not make it any safer. The best advice is if you must use an extension cord; make sure it is marked No. 14 or No. 12 AWG. The extension cord must have a tag or stamp of approval from an independent testing organization such as Underwriters Laboratories.

The Importance Of Surge Protectors

Outlet on fire
Source: GreenBiz

A Surge protector is an inexpensive way to protect your gear against accidental power spike damage. Surge protectors are relatively cheap, unlike power strips. They offer some level of protection against power spikes. However, power strips are cheap, multi-outlet products that are merely an expansion of a wall outlet.

Power Strips rarely include a surge protector. These usually have an on/off switch but don’t offer any real protection from electrical issues. Therefore, plugging too many contraptions into these often leads to a complete meltdown (literally). Add in a space heater that requires a high current flow, and you have got yourself a personal disaster.

Do Not Leave Your Space Heater Alone for More Than 5 minutes

Space heater on fire
Source: Brain Sharper

The issue is most space heater users don’t realize that space heaters run on high wattage. Therefore, even when plugged into a wall socket, they can effortlessly short-circuit. A key observation by the fire department is that space heaters need to be constantly monitored.

When running your heater, don’t leave the room for more than a brief time without turning it off. Furthermore, if you see a frayed cord, instead of overlooking it, get it replaced. Make sure the enclosure of the heater does not appear as cracked or dented. The grill needs to place too for safety purposes.

Space Heaters Are Like Electronic Ovens

Spongebob Squarepants gif
Source: Giphy

Space heaters can be easily compared to electric ovens, in terms of usage. A space heater is portable, but it needs as much caution as any electric oven would. One needs to be sure of what they’re doing when operating them. Furthermore, make sure to get it checked if you suspect any trouble.

The bottom line is that a space heater can be a sensible heating option. If you practice a few smart space heater safety tips, space heaters can help you and your family to stay warm and safe. They are, after all, a great invention for generating heat.

Did You Know Dust Can Cause Fires Too?

Cat in front of a space heater
Source: New Ravel

A clogged system unit means that it runs on higher refrigerant pressure. This can lead to failing components. Often, the buildup of soot and ash leads to poor air quality. The air quality problem is amplified when homeowners close their windows when turning on their space heaters.

Therefore, a clogged wall socket being used for a space heater is a potential hazard too. Hence, you ought to make sure to clean the dust off of your wall outlets. Like many other things, dust is another substance that can cause a house to catch on fire.

One Outlet Cannot Withstand Multiple Plugs

Multiple power plugs
Source: Falconer Electronics

The electrical system of many older homes is not properly equipped to respond to today’s increased power demands. According to the  (NFPA), more than half of all homes in the U.S. are at least 30 years old. The wiring in many of these older homes was designed to handle around half of the electrical demands of today’s families.

Now we have the ever-increasing use of gadgets, gizmos, and appliances demanding power. Experts at Good Housekeeping Institute warn users to not plug everything else in the same outlet as a space heater at any cost.

Refer to Professional Help For Heavily Powered Appliances

Girls hair on static shock
Source: Twitter

It is never a good idea to plug in more than two appliances into an outlet. Furthermore, it is a bad idea to plug in extra appliances on extension cords. It is advised to use outlets designed to withstand multiple plugs. Know the amount of power you’re placing on an outlet.

Major appliances such as refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc. should be plugged directly into their wall outlet. These appliances are heavy power users. If you find yourself overloading an outlet in your home, you may need to contact a professional to help resolve the problem.

Science Behind Surge Protectors

House on fire
Source: Sabel Adjusters

A standard surge protector passes the electrical current along from the outlet to several electrical and electronic devices plugged into the power strip. If the voltage from the outlet surges or spikes — rises above the accepted level — the surge protector diverts the extra electricity into the outlet’s

Not to get into specifications but surge protectors work by deflecting electrical energy to a Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV). The MOV then takes in the extra voltage. A MOV has three parts: a piece of metal oxide material in the middle joined to the power and grounding line by two semiconductors.

All About The Lifespan Of a MOV

Burnt power strip
Source: WCYB

However, MOVs have a lifespan just like anything else. What shortens the lifespan of a space heater is plugging a high wattage space heater to it. In this way, the MOV only diverts the surge current, while allowing the standard current to continue powering whatever machines are connected to the surge protector. Once that happens, you know what lies ahead; lots of wildfires.

Therefore, as soon as the extra current is diverted into the MOV and to ground, the voltage in the hotline returns to a normal level. Metaphorically speaking, the MOV acts like a pressure-sensitive valve that only opens when there is too much pressure.

Is The Ceremonial Burial Required?

Fireman next to a fire
Source: Pinterest

Unlike diamonds surge protectors have a definite lifespan. At one point or another, your surge protector will stop protecting. This is when it turns into nothing but a useless power strip. However, it difficult to tell exactly when a surge protector loses those protective powers and just functions as a power strip.

Therefore, a definite time frame for when it’s appropriate to give your surge protector a ceremonial burial does not exist. However, it is advised if you’re still using a surge protector for 10 years ago. It is long past the date of its burial.

Playing Russian Roulette With Your Space Heater Is Not Great Idea

Man in bandages
Source: Mental Flare

The Umatilla County Fire District #1 believes such incidents can be prevented. They want to get the message across to the masses. Space heaters are to be kept away from children and pets. Avoid putting electric space heaters on tables, shelves, or chairs. Stay vigilant when the heater is switched on.

Furthermore, keep all combustible materials such as yourself at least 3 feet from the heater. Especially don’t go to sleep with the heater switched on. All in all, it’s not worth playing Russian roulette with a space heater. However, they aren’t the only way house fires initiate.

An Eighty-three Year Old Man’s House On Fire

House on fire
Source: Mental Flare

Ali Mese is a man who lives a simple life with his wife and son. He is a resident of a small town in western Turkey. Unbeknown to the Ali, it was the day he would see everything he worked for, turn to rubble in a few hours.

It is devastating to see your home and precious possessions consumed by fire. It is one of the most severe losses that a homeowner can experience. After such a devastating loss, reassurance comes from having clear guidance and support in salvaging as much as possible from fire and smoke damage.

Copious Gasoline and Wood is a Recipe For Disaster

Firefighters putting out fire
Source: YouTube

That morning, the Eighty-three-year-old man was trying to light a wooden stove. It was his attempt at cooking breakfast for his family. What happened next was nothing he ever expected. Due to copious amounts of gasoline onto the flame, his house set aflame. The Mese family had to make a run for their lives.

The smoke released by the wood burns a mixture of many different types of gases. Some of these gases are harmless, but most of them are harmful. Especially in the case when an excess amount is breathed in. Therefore, the family had to rush out without considering anything but their lives.

It Was The Neighbors Who Called For Help

House fire
Source: YouTube

The neighbors spotted the flames and immediately thought of calling the authorities. The Fire department rushed to the scene and extinguished the flames. However, by the time they finished up, the air was polluted with a particular matter.

The visible smoke in the air is not a gas, they are small collections of materials that have not quite burned up or have burned into ash that is light enough to float upon the air. The fire left nothing but charred wood into piles of rubble. It was like a single flame had dictated this change in the Mese family’s life in the blink of an eye.

A Moment Changed Everything For Ali

Man in front of burnt home
Source: YouTube

Ali stood there in silence, he watched the orange glow engulf his house; a ravenous monster eating all his life’s work. At that moment, he thought he would never escape damage. This image would haunt his dreams. Tears streamed down his face as he saw the flames licking at his family room.

He kept repeating the incident in his head. Disbelief at how he thought his morning would turn out. His plans for the day, cooking breakfast, it all kept rushing back. He realized that he and his family were left with nothing.

The House Was Nothing But An Unrecognizable Mess

Burnt down home
Source: YouTube

Even the thought of losing everything, including your own home gives one jitter. The very place where you find comfort was lost. However, the family then realized they might have lost something even more precious.

They were devastated to see nothing but an unrecognizable mess. The family had only moved into this house for the winter. He visited his village home regularly to check up on his three cats. Therefore, the family wasn’t just sad about the house, they couldn’t see their cat in a mess either.

A Far Too Daunting Realization

Man and cat
Source: YouTube

Ali could not handle the thought of losing his cat. As he stood there with tears streaming down his face, all he could think about was that it is his fault. He felt utterly distraught; his pets were like family members to him. However, among the devastation, there was one shining beacon of hope.

The Mudurnu Social Assistance, the Solidarity Foundation, and the local authorities were focused on helping him and his family. They hadn’t considered saving his beloved cat. The chaos of the fire drowned out any cries for the poor animal.

Like A Shining Star On a Bleak Wintery Night

Cat saved after fire
Source: YouTube

Amongst the chaos that engulfed the house, Ali heard something scuffling sound underneath some of the wooden rubble. Whatever it was, was trying to get out. As he came close to the charred wood, one of his cats, Sarıkız, came climbing out from underneath.

The atmosphere and the emotion of the scene completely changed. The man who was crying with despair now seemed to have tears of joy in his eyes. He thought he was hallucinating for a second, but it was her.

Sarikiz, The Blonde Girl

Cat saved after fire
Source: YouTube

The lucky feline was Ali’s favorite cat. She was named Sarıkız. Her name translates to the blonde girl. Ali and his family were awe-struck. They couldn’t believe their beloved cat had made it out alive.

As soon as the cat climbed into Ali’s arms, she couldn’t stop purring; she was just as elated to see Ali after the terrifying ordeal. She nestled in his comforting arms. Even though she wasn’t injured, she still needed some kind of comfort after surviving a life-threatening fire.

The Cat And The Owner Both Seemed Overjoyed At the Reunion

Cat saved after fire
Source: YouTube

Ali and Sarikiz were inseparable. The man held onto her for his dear life. He couldn’t stop kissing her. He clutched her close to his heart as he thanked the heavens. She was one of his favorite pets, and even though his family was now homeless, he saw her as a sign of hope.

Sarıkız leaned in, purring, and rubs her head on Ali as he kissed her. It was a gratifying sight. The cat knew its owner was showing her affection.

The Family Was Rushed To The Hospital For Injuries

Men hugging
Source: Twitter

After, Ali and his family lost their village house by a fire; they were rushed to the hospital. The Mese family suffered from minor injuries and was taken for first aid. According to the family, the whole scenario was a bit of a blur. However, they remember the police officers staying with them until the fire was out, and the fire chief arrived.

Sarıkız had to be left behind with the authorities. Members of the humanitarian group Turkish Red Crescent were there waiting to offer their assistance. They took the cat and helped get clean and fed.

The Cat Was Reunited With Ali

Rescue worker holding the cat
Source: Twitter

The rescue team visited the family to the hospital. However, they did not come a lot. They brought the cuddly cat back to her owner. First aid centers were to provide healthcare and first aid to the victims of the incident.

Ali and his family were being treated, and they couldn’t wait to be reunited with their cat. The members of Red Crescent came to visit the family they had a surprise. They wanted to be the first ones to return the cat to their owner and see the look of joy on his face.

Turkish Red Crescent To The Rescue

Rescue worker, the man and his cat
Source: Twitter

Turkish Red Crescent is the largest humanitarian organization. They operate in 78 different countries in natural and human-related disasters. They are a not-for-profit, volunteer-based social service institution providing unconditional aid and service, and is a corporate body governed by special legal provisions.

The members of Turkish Red Crescent brought the beautiful Sarıkız back to her owner. The whole ordeal of returning the cat was heartwarming. Ali was beaming as he was handed his furry beacon of hope. They were happy to help the elderly man.

Sarikiz Is A Part Of Family

Man and his cat
Source: Twitter

As if embracing a long lost child, Ali engulfed the cat in his arms. The entire experience seemed surreal to him, but at least Sarikiz was still part of his family’s life. After all, she was all he and his family had left.

He said his cats were his family. No words can describe how much they mean to the family. He says he can’t imagine anything happening to her. Ali has a strong bond with Sarıkız. She is more than just pets to him, she is like a child.

Photo Session With The Cat

The rescue workers
Source: Twitter

The Turkish rescue team who helped him through the tragedy was present at the hospital the whole time. Ali took some photographs with his cat and the authorities. After all, they were the ones who took care of his cat as he was being treated at the hospital.

The internet around the globe exploded with photographs of Meşe holding his orange tabby kitten Sarıkız (Blonde Girl). This was when he stood on the street helplessly watching his house go up in flames. The picture went viral on social media, and his heart-breaking story gained interest from the viewers.

The Family was Physically Injured, But They Remained Content

Man leaving hospital with his cat
Source: Twitter

The eighty-three-year-old man had some injuries that needed tending to. He had a bandaged right hand when he left the hospital. Naturally, he was a bit shaken, but that was expected. The man had just gone through an awful situation. Despite that, he looked content.

According to his family, he is close to Sarıkız. The thought of the cat is safe, and sound made him content and elated. No matter the injury, some things make you feel in a positive headspace.

Aftermath Of The Fire and Government’s Intervention

Man and his cat
Source: Twitter

Ali’s family had more to be thankful for. The Government sent aid to make sure the family found a suitable new home to live in. Furthermore, they set up a GoFundMe Page. This helped the family gain financial aid from good wishers.

The family collected around $6,000 trough the page. They appreciate these moments of goodness from the community.  They were particularly surprised at the generosity of others showed towards them. It had opened a new perspective on life.

The Family Is Grateful To Be Alive and Well

Man and his cat
Source: Twitter

Ali’s wife was content that the tragedy did not ruin her husband’s optimism. Ali and his family were getting used to their new surroundings. They had accepted their fate and were content that their cat had survived the incident.

As long as his family and Sarıkız were safe, he didn’t mind the change at all. He was grateful to the firefighter for their hard work and constant support. He couldn’t stop thanking them as he held onto his cat.

The Fire Was A Life-Altering Ordeal

Man and his cat
Source: Twitter

This ordeal was life-altering on so many levels for Ali and his family. The incredible outpouring of support they received from their community was restorative. This experience has left them shaken to the core. People around the world have rallied around them in a way that made me feel, accepted, supported, and loved.

It was amazing to see how their beloved cat, Sarıkız, considerably changed the family’s mood. The thought of the day of the house fire brings back many sad memories. They thought there was nothing left for them and then came their beacon of hope; their beloved cat.

Ali’s Family Was Lucky To Say The Least

Man and his family
Source: Twitter

The Mese family is really lucky to have escaped the chaotic event without fatal injuries. Their beloved cat represented hope in a time of total despair. Each family member is deeply scarred but is grateful to be alive.

They got out alive or before they inhaled too many fumes. This is an opportunity for them to be extra cautious. Sometimes it’s a child, sometimes a cat and the guilt of losing a loved one inside is heart-wrenching. Therefore, it is strongly advised to not abuse normal household items in any way.