Top 7 Causes of House Fires

Top 7 Causes Of House Fires

Top 7 Reasons for A House Fire: A fire in any property can occur out of nowhere. Our blog post is focused on the various reasons for a house fire to educate homeowners on precautions they can take to prevent them. House fires are unpredictable, can escalate in a matter of seconds, destroy precious property, and in alarming cases harm individuals as well. The mental scars left behind by a house fire can often last for years.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are 350,000 house fires that occur each year across the United States. There are multiple ways in which your home can catch fire. However, there are only two broadly defined ways in which fire accidents happen. The two categories – fire caused due to heat igniting combustible objects and tools, and fire outbreak due to a chemical reaction.

There are many ways in which your home can catch fire. Accidental fires can wreak havoc. Your home has tools and appliances that are combustible under certain conditions. These things are regular essentials that you cannot do without. Hence, it makes your home more susceptible to accidental fires.

Here are the Top 7 Causes Of House Fires:

1. Cooking is the #1 reason on our list of Top 7 Causes Of House Fires and represents 40% of the total pie

Cooking remains the highest cause of an accidental house fire. About 40% of house fires are a result of cooking mishaps. The overheating of pots and pans or other cooking equipment can easily lead to a fire within seconds. Most fire accidents begin in the kitchen due to negligence or when uncontrollable factors come into play. Leaving the kitchen unattended while cooking, forgetting to turn off the gas or oven, cooking at high temperatures, and using oil can cause a fire. Grease is a highly combustible element. It can burn spontaneously above a certain temperature even without direct contact of flame. Portable cooking electrical appliances are another addition to the list. Unattended, they can deal heavy damage.

2. Heating Appliances is the #2 reason on our list of Top 7 Causes Of House Fires and represents 18% of the total pie

Second, on the list, heating appliances lead to 18% of house fires. Home space heaters, automatic and manual fireplaces, chimneys, and other heating appliances contain the deadly carbon monoxide gas that can catch fire and spread rapidly. Given the combustible nature of this gas and its potential to burn objects like towels, furniture, curtains, and even you, it can rapidly spread indoors. Heaters requiring kerosene to fuel them up for burning are more dangerous. An electrical fault in wiring or cabling of the heating appliances can also result in a house fire.

3. Electrical Malfunctioning is the #3 reason on our list of Top 7 Causes Of House Fires and represents 17% of the total pie

Different types of electrical faults in home-wiring can lead to the breakout of fire. Typically, most electrical fires arise due to short circuits in the wiring system of the appliances or the switchboard. When a short circuit takes place, it causes sparking that ignites the building materials. This can also happen when the circuits are overloaded with the current. This causes overheating of the wires. Electrical fires are deadly because most of the time, they ignite in hidden locations. They turn into major fires before you are even aware of it. It can build up while the occupants are sleeping, which could be fatal. When electronic devices fail and batteries overheat, they can catch fire too.

4. Arson unfortunately is the #4 reason for a house fire

Any burning, substantial discoloration, damage due to smoke, alligator patterns, charring, the destruction caused by explosives, and the ruining of objects and spaces due to excessive heating, all meet the criteria of arson. This is one of those reasons that is so unprecedented that you might never see it coming. There are a number of other reasons behind an arson which include criminal mischief, reckless burning and exploding, voluntarily setting a property to fire, and unauthorized use of a fire hydrant to cause trouble. Arson makes up for the fourth most common reason for accidental house fires in the US.

5. Careless Smoking unfortunately is the #5 reason for a house fire but falls to 5% of the total pie

Smoking cigarettes is not only hazardous to your health, but it is one of the most common reasons for starting a fire too. Cigarettes have a high potential of igniting fire when the buds are carelessly or drowsily dropped or thrown on carpets, furniture, and other flammable objects. This happens when the cigarette buds haven’t been put out properly and may still be burning. Smoking in the bedroom and on the bed is very dangerous, as it may be the easiest place to catch fire. A single bud of the lighted cigarette is enough to ignite a towel, blanket, mattress, and other clothing objects.

6. Candle Fire #6 reason for a house fire but falls to 3% of the total pie

As calming as candles are when burning in the dark, they can be the reason behind deadly fires as well. In fact, candles are an underrated cause of starting a house fire. They are pretty, delicate objects that can easily make a cloth, carpet, curtains, and blankets catch fire. If the item to catch fire is in close proximity to other inflammable things, the fire spreads quickly. Matches and lighters that are used to light candles can be dangerous tools when they are in the hands of children. New Year and Christmas is the time when candle fire accidents are noted frequently. Burning candles can pose a fire threat when left unattended.

7. Other Causes #7 reason for a house fire but falls to 2% of the total pie

There are many other ways that can cause a house fire or act as catalysts to it. The storage of flammable liquids in inadequate circumstances, holding barbeque parties indoors, the use of modern construction materials like polystyrene insulation and timber frames, and hazardous lighting are some of these. Sometimes things as innocuous as mirrors can also lead to fire, by reflecting direct sunlight onto an inflammable object. So, the positioning of mirrors plays an important role too. Irrespective of all these reasons combined, the end result remains the same. It all leads to accidental house fires.

The home is a place to feel and live safely. A house fire can not only cause damage and disrupt the dynamics but cause emotional trauma on the residents. The more you are aware of the ways and causes, the better equipped you are to deal with them to prevent the same.

Have you experienced fire damage or smoke damage in the recent past? Or perhaps the damage has occurred quite some time back and you haven’t had the chance to look into it due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Opt for an immediate cleanup to restore your property and ensure safe living.

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The Most Common Places That Fires Occur in the Home

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