Domestic Fires in Spain | Apartment On Fire

Domestic Fires In Spain – Causes and Prevention

Domestic Fires In Spain

Every year, when Summer arrives, forest fires make the Spanish headlines  We see hectares razed to the ground, families evacuated from their homes and crops destroyed. However, domestic fires in Spain also wreck havoc inside homes and statistics bear witness to this.

According to a Spanish firefighter, Ignacio Robles, creator of the slogan “close the door to fire”, there are approximately 17,000 fires in Spain every year, an average of 47 per day.  If we talk about fatalities, in 2021 there were 152 deaths due to fires, to which we would have to add the death of pets and the considerable damage to property

Most Common Causes Of Domestic Fires

  • Faulty electrical installations and short circuits. It is very important to have a good electrical installation at home, which has to always be installed and maintained by qualified professionals. It is also advisable not to overload power strips and to be careful about overheating
  • Tobacco. Although it may seem unlikely, cigarettes are indeed one of the main causes of domestic fires. Most of the time, it is because they are badly extinguished, and on other occasions due to carelessness on the part of smokers who fall asleep while smoking. The fire usually spirals out of control when lit cigarettes come into contact with certain highly flammable fabrics, such as curtains, sheets, or carpets.
  • Candles. These decorative elements may seem harmless, but they are a common source of fires if not handled properly. Just like a cigarette, candles require our vigilance at all times when they are lit, and we must choose carefully where to place them. When placing them, it is important to avoid spots where there are draughts and to place the candle in a safe container, usually glass. 
  • The kitchen. Finally, we arrive at one of the most dangerous places in our home when it comes to domestic fires in Spain. Our kitchen is a place where we have a lot of electrical products, such as the toaster, the oven or the cooker itself (whether electric or gas), added to  the most flammable element of all, hot oil. For this reason, it is important to point the panhandles inwards , not outwards, and always make sure that electrical appliances are switched off when you have finished using them. 
  • Heaters: As for cookers, braziers or radiators, they should always be supervised while they are switched on. Most importantly, clothing should not be placed on them, in order to prevent certain highly flammable textile fibres from overheating.
  • Unsupervised children: For all the reasons mentioned in the previous points, it is extremely important that children are always accompanied when handling certain electrical appliances, or if candles, cigarettes or cookers are lit. Any carelessness or distraction could be fatal.

If we pay attention to these details, we will be much less likely to suffer a fire at home. As an extra preventive measure, try to install a smoke detector in your home. This simple and economical measure can make a huge difference if, for example, a  fire starts at night while you are sleeping.

Other important measures                                                                   

In addition to preventive measures and being aware of potential sources of fire, it is also important to protect your home and family with a home insurance policy to cover damage from a house fire.

If you don’t already have home insurance, you can ask me, and I’ll be pleased to prepare a written quote for you Your home insurance will cover you in the event of a fire caused by the combustion of objects that were not designed to burn, explosions caused by gas leaks, etc. In addition, once the fire has been extinguished, this insurance also covers damage to walls caused by smoke, wáter, etc.

In the event of a fire inside your home, with you in it, there are also certain recommendations that you can follow to deal with it as safely as possible.

  • First of all, turn off the electricity and gas if you can.
  • Call 112 for help, the emergency telephone number in Spain.
  • If you are unable to safely leave your home, look for a window or balcony where you have access to smoke-free air (if it faces the street, it will be even better to facilitate the work of the fire brigade).

And, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, close the door to the fire. It is important that you close the doors behind you. Closed doors become firewalls that allow you to contain the fire and gain time until the arrival of firefighters and/or rescuers.

Knowing how to prevent house fires should be part of our basic training as citizens, as it not only serves to protect ourselves but also to protect our loved ones and neighbours. I hope you find this article interesting, and that from now on you will be able to take some extra measures to prevent future fires.

Article brought to you by:-

Franco Valori
Hermanos Chorro
Insurance Brokers
Nº Reg. Correduría: VS-98-0130
Telf. 96 579 60 71