Keep Your Mattress Safe from Fire Hazards

Kid in a firefighter coat and helmet

In a previous article we already talked about safety at night while you’re RV camping.  Additionally, there are some mattress related safety precautions that apply, even if you don’t own an RV and especially while you’re sleeping. Whether you are thinking of buying a replacement mattress, or your sofa mattress or RV and boat mattress can last a little while longer, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to fire safety.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has stated that from 2005-2009, mattresses were the first thing to ignite in a house fire in over 10,000 homes. They further concluded this caused 371 deaths and 1,340 injuries, and cost homeowners roughly $382 million in damages. 

Avoiding some of the most common causes of these mishaps can help you avoid the pitfallsof putting yourself and your family at risk.

1. Smoking – It may seem like common sense not to smoke in bed, but 20% of mattress fires still start with people smoking in bed and falling asleep before they safely put out their cigarette. Bottom line, smoking in bed or on a couch mattress is asking for trouble.

2. Candles – You may not smoke, but candles near the bed can cause fires if left unattended. Make sure candles are blown out for the night and not left near a mattress if lit during the day.

3. Lighters – Lighters usually shut off on their own when not in use, but a lighter can remain hot for several minutes after use, so don’t make a habit of keeping the lighter on the sofa or mattress.

4. Heaters – Electric heaters can get very hot, especially if the heat gets trapped in one place. Make sure to unplug portable heaters when you won’t be in a room or when you are going to bed.

5. Kids – Make sure to keep things like matches, lighters and candles out of your children’s reach. They could start playing with fire and potentially cause a dangerous situation.

6. Electrical Cords – Today, we have so many electronic gadgets to plug in, and we usually keep them charging overnight. When charging your phone or tablet, make sure the cords are in good condition. Frayed cords that are close to the mattress or bedding can be a source of ignition.

7. Lights– Desk lamps and other lights can produce a surprising amount of heat. Make sure they are unobstructed when in use. This can be especially dangerous if you’re using a gas lamp in a camper, which can easily tip over onto the camper mattress.

8. Other Heat Sources – Heating pads and electric blankets have started mattress fires before. They can be particularly hazardous on a camper or boat mattress where cold weather can make the extra warmth provided by these electronic heaters a welcome–but potentially hazardous–comfort.

Mattress fires can be avoided by taking preventative measures and using common sense. Keeping your mattress free of potential hazards will help to keep you and your family safe and will also guarantee you’ll enjoy your mattress for years to come.