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06 Oct, 2022
Posted by Sharafie Ahmad
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Most Common Causes of House Fires – What You Need To Know

House fires can be one of the most devastating events to occur in a household, risking the safety of occupants, causing damage to important items, and requiring costly and time-consuming clean up and repairs.

Approximately 358,000 house fires occur each year in the US alone and, according to Zebra Insurance, 50% of those fires begin in the kitchen, 6% are chimney fires, 7% of fires start in the bedroom, and 6% in the living room.

Below we will answer the question “What are the Causes of Fire in the Home” and take a look at what you can do to protect your family by implementing some easy fire safety steps such as installing fire detection alarms.

Cause of fire - fire triangle

What are the Causes of Fire in the Home?

Appliances and Household Equipment are one of the Leading Causes of Fire in the Home

Kitchen appliances such as unattended stoves are a frequent cause of house fires, as are electrical appliances such as fans and computers which can overheat when subject to extended use.

Fire Safety Tip – Make sure that you don’t leave kitchen appliances unattended and make sure to double-check that all your equipment is turned off when you no longer need it.

Unattended Candles Are the Cause of Many House Fires

Leaving an open flame unattended is a major fire safety hazard, but a surprising number of house fires start from candles that have been left to burn while someone falls asleep or forgets the candle and leaves the house entirely. Candle fires most often occur in the winter holiday period.

Fire Safety Tip – If you have been using candles, make sure to do a final check before bedtime or leaving the house to ensure that all candle flames have been extinguished.

Electrical Equipment in the Home Can Start Fires in the Home

All of your electrical home items can potentially contribute to a house fire if they have faulty, loose wiring, as can your electrical wiring system if it isn’t grounded correctly. Lighting equipment is a prime example of an electrical item which can become overheated and spark a flame.

Fire Safety Tip – Make sure that you turn off all lights and lamps when you leave the room. If you think that any of your plug sockets or lights may be faulty, contact a professional electrician to rectify the problem.

Unsupervised Children Can be a Cause of House Fires

Children are always curious about their surroundings and will pick up and play with whatever is around them. If there is a box of matches nearby, this situation can lead to a destructive and dangerous home fire.

Fire Safety Tip – Make sure that you don’t leave any dangerous items around when children are in the house. Sit your older children down and take the time to educate them about the dangers of fire.

Holiday Decorations Can Be A Cause of Fire

An answer to the question “What are the causes of fire” that may not immediately occur to you is holiday decorations. Hot lighting equipment, faulty wiring, and dry trees can be a recipe for fires during the holiday season. Combined with the flammable materials on decorations this can be a significant fire hazard in the home.

Fire Safety Tip – Make sure that all of your holiday decorations have safe wiring, that electrical sockets aren’t overwhelmed with too many plugs, and that flammable materials are placed far away from heat sources.

Smoking Materials such as Unattended Pipes and Cigarettes Can be the Cause of House Fires

When people fall asleep while smoking, they can expose their bed, chair, or couch to an open flame. Other smoking-related fires are caused when people empty ashes that are still hot into a trash can.

Fire Safety Tip – If you are feeling sleepy, put your cigarette out and make sure it has been extinguished properly. Wait until all the ashes are cool before emptying your ashtray into the trash can.

Gas and Chemicals Can Be the Causes of Fire

Some house fires are caused by gas and chemical leaks which can lead to combustion if exposed to an open flame in the home such as a candle, a cigarette lighter, or an open flame on a stove.

Fire Safety Tip – If you smell leaking gas, removing yourself and your family and contacting an emergency service is essential.

Chimney Fires Can Sometimes Get Out of Control

As we saw above, about 6% of house fires annually begin as chimney fires. Sometimes, stray flickers of flame or embers can cause a nearby fabric or piece of furniture to begin to burn.

Fire Safety Tip – Make sure to keep an eye on interior fires and take precautions such as using a fire guard. If you leave a room, extinguish the fire rather than leave it unattended.

What Fire Safety Steps Should You Take to Prevent a Household Fire Spreading?

smoke detector - Causes of House Fires

Some house fires can occur no matter how vigilant you are about fire hazards and open flames. So, what steps can you take to make sure that the danger and damage are decreased as soon as possible? Well, your first step is to make sure that you have high-quality detectors and fire alarms in the building.

Contacting a professional fire detector supplier will help to ensure that, if a fire occurs, you and your family are made aware as quickly as possible. The earlier a fire is detected, the more manageable the situation usually is. Once you are aware of a home fire you can immediately take action either by using fire extinguishers on manageable fires or by contacting the emergency services and moving to a safe distance from the home.

By keeping an eye on the possible causes of fire in the home and making sure you have all the necessary fire safety equipment installed, you can help to decrease the chances of a fire, avoid the distress of damage to your home, and potentially save lives.

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