Common Causes of House Fires

We live in tinder boxes. Our homes are made from flammable materials like wood and drywall, and we have electricity and gas pumping through the walls and ceilings. The potential for fire is all around us.

Of course, we can do quite a few things to prevent house fires. From installing fire alarms throughout the home to ensuring that we keep our electrical devices away from water, we can lessen the risk for a house.

Home fires still occur despite the precautions that many homeowners take to prevent fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the year 2016 had 352,000 reported house fires. What are some of the most common causes of house fires?

Unattended candles

Lighting a candle and forgetting about it can cause a fire. People sometimes fall asleep without blowing out the candles. Then the candles are knocked over by a child or a pet, and the house catches fire. The candle could be near flammable fabrics and cause a fire when the flame jumps too high.

Cooking accidents

Grease fires, oven fires and microwave accidents are common causes of house fires. The flame from the stove top gets too high or grease gets too hot. Someone might try to microwave the leftovers with aluminum foil. Cooking accidents account for quite a few house fires.

Portable heaters

Portable heaters account for some house fires, too. As wonderful as portable heaters are for getting a room warm, they pose a huge fire risk if safety precautions are not taken. Keep heaters away from flammable fabrics. Pets and children should not sit too close to the portable heater. Also, make sure that the cord is arranged in such a way that no one will trip over it.

Cigarettes and cigars

Falling asleep while smoking a cigarette or cigar also poses a fire risk. Make sure to put out cigarettes and cigars completely to ensure that they will not cause a fire. Many home fires are started from cigarettes and cigars that have either fallen out of a resident’s hand while sleeping or from not being properly put out.

Faulty electrical equipment

Frayed electrical cords and inadequate wiring or old wiring can also cause house fires. It is important to double-check electrical appliances to ensure that they are safe to use. Store electrical devices in the right way. If something is broken or faulty, do not use it. Either have it maintenance or replaced.

Barbeques and cookouts

Another common cause of house fires is improperly stored barbeque grills or outdoor cooking accidents that are too close to other flammable materials. Moreover, make sure to cook a safe distance from the house, and always clean and store the grill the proper way. Outdoor cooking safety procedures should be followed.

Knocked over lamps

Of course, lamps can also cause fires. If a lamp is knocked over from a table or stand, the lamp can be the reason that a fire starts within the home. Train pets and teach children to stay away from lamps. Pick up any lamps that you see have fallen over as soon as possible.