Actually, we should have titled this article “Hoarding is a fire hazard.” Have you ever seen the inside of a hoarder’s home? Even if they are organized, the amount of fuel for a fire is astounding. Even the smallest of sparks could start a raging fire in a matter of minutes. Of course, in addition to being a fire hazard, there are also mental issues, but that is a topic for another discussion.
According to Merriam-Webster, the term hoarding is defined as “a supply or fund stored up and often hidden away.” Unfortunately, for most homeowners that hoard, the hidden away part is often untrue. Hoarding can start as a small pile in a single room. Over time, that pile extends outward and eventually takes over the entire room, and then it can take over the entire home.
If you have ever seen the reality show “Hoarders,” you know how quickly this can get out of control. In many of these extreme homes, individuals are lucky if they have a pathway to get in and out of rooms. In fact, they often have to climb over items just to get from one end of the home to the other. This is dangerous for many reasons.
Obviously, these hoarded items can catch on fire rather quickly and are adding fuel to an already dangerous situation. A fire that may take 15 minutes to rage out of control can now do so in just a few minutes, if not seconds. However, there is also the added danger of being able to actually get out of the home once it does catch on fire.
When someone hoards, they will often restrict movement throughout the home, as we briefly mentioned above. Imagine being in a hoarder’s bedroom at the rear of the home and realizing a fire has started. What are the chances of escaping quickly when there are items strewn about the home, blocking aisles, and catching on fire? The bottom line here is that hoarding is dangerous and can directly lead to injury and/or death in fire situations.