The most common smoke damage is usually caused by house fires, but there are also other causes such as smoking tobacco in the home and through not cleaning out the oven often enough. Although some causes of smoke damage are avoidable, nobody can be 100% sure they will never have a house fire and with more electronics being used in the home than ever before the only thing you can do is lower the risk.
Having adequate ventilation in the kitchen can reduce the chance of staining on the walls, even if you do accidentally set the chip pan on fire. Cleaning out the oven regularly is important too; especially after you have spilled food in there (it happens to us all). If you notice smoke coming from the oven then deal with the source as soon as possible and ensure you have smoke alarms installed so that any fires can be dealt with (see San Diego Fire Damage Cleanup page) sooner rather than later.
Candles and incense candles
Never leave candles and incense sticks unattended and keep them away from flammable furnishings and always on a surface that is heat resistant. It is advisable to keep them on top of something that can minimize damage further such as a plate or special incense stick holder so that anything that falls off is caught.
Keep burning candles away from pets that could accidentally knock them from the surface they are standing on which could cause them to ignite nearby objects.
Children are always curious of objects they are not allowed to play with like matches and lighters. For this reason they should be kept out of reach at all times and if possible in a locked place so that they can never gain access.
Fires from adjoining properties
Fires from adjoining houses can also cause smoke damage to neighboring properties. It stands to reason that if there is a fire next door and both your windows and theirs are open smoke can enter your property and damage decorations, furnishings and even permanent fixtures.
Unattended electrical items
To avoid fires in your own home you should unplug electrical before you go to bed and when leaving the house for a period of time. Choose furnishings where possible that are not flammable and keep cleaning products, hair spray and other canisters away from sources of heat.
If you smoke inside the home, you shouldn’t do so while in bed. If you are tired or occupied there is a higher chance that you could fall asleep with a lit cigarette and set the bed alight. Flammable materials are not easy to put out so even if you are lucky enough to escape unscathed, your house and furnishings are unlikely to.
If you burn items outside of your home in a garden incinerator, keep it as far away from the house as possible and keep all windows and doors closed until the fire is out. Always make sure the fire has been doused before walking away from it and settling down for the night or going out for the day to reduce the chance of it setting light to anything nearby.