Last month, an Oakley man died when a fire virtually destroyed a home that fire fighters described as “hoarder-like.” In October, two people lost their lives in October from a fire triggered by hoarding. According to fire officials on the scene, the hoarding situation was so bad that it took them a while to even realize there was a second fatality.
These two incidents – which occurred within a month of one another – clearly illustrates the dangers posed by hoarding.
In this issues, we’ll talk more about those dangers and share tips for how you can lower the risks of fire injuries to possible hoarders you know.
Reports tell us that as much as 5% of the U.S. population may meet the definition of hoarding, which relates to a person’s ability to function.
For example, people with messy lifestyles may not necessarily be hoarders, but if the living situation affects their ability to function (not being able to cook in their homes, unable to live safely inside the home, etc.) the line to hoarding has probably been crossed.
Electrical wiring can easily be worn down by the weight of piles. Also, pathways throughout the home can be blocked from the clutter, and cooking can be especially dangerous if items are too close to the stove or oven.
If a fire does break out, hoarding can block first responders from moving throughout the home. They can also be injured by items falling from piles, and be trapped inside the home after exits become blocked by excess materials.
If you feel that you may have too many items in your home, take a moment to make reasonable decisions on whether a particular object is actually worth keeping.
Also, because clear escape pathways are crucial to surviving a fire, take the time to clear the pathways to exits from the home.
While experiencing a home fire can be tragic enough, we shudder to think about the helpless feeling of being trapped inside your own home when flames begin to grow.
If you experience a home fire, safety is your primary concern. After that, it’s time to getting your house feeling like home again. To do that, we urge you to contact us here at J&M Keystone by calling 800-368-2757.