Common Causes of House Fires and How To Prevent Them - Home & Texture
Home Maintenance Causes of House Fires

These Are the Most Common Causes of House Fires (Plus How To Prevent Them)

Because understanding how they happen is the best way to prevent them.

By
April 8, 2024 at 10:55 PM PST
Updated on April 8, 2024 at 10:55 PM PST
Home Maintenance Causes of House Fires

These Are the Most Common Causes of House Fires (Plus How To Prevent Them)

Because understanding how they happen is the best way to prevent them.

By
April 8, 2024 at 10:55 PM PST
Updated on April 8, 2024 at 10:55 PM PST

House fires can be absolutely devastating. They can turn your whole world upside down, causing colossal property damage, personal injury, and even death. But while the thought of this is certainly terrifying, understanding the common causes can help you prevent them.

To learn more, here are seven common causes and how you can prevent them.

A person turning on the burner
Photo credit: RDNE Stock project 

Cooking Accidents

The kitchen is one of the most common areas in the home to catch fire. This is because leaving cooking unattended, overheating oil, and flammable materials near the stove are common culprits.

To maintain a safe kitchen environment, think twice before leaving food on the stovetop or in the oven unattended. Instead, always set a timer to remind you to come back to your food.

Additionally, keep flammable items away from any heat sources like the stovetop, oven, or toaster to ensure they don’t catch fire. And for added safety, place a fire extinguisher somewhere nearby in case of emergency.

Electrical Malfunctions

Electrical malfunctions often happen when you least expect it. And safety hazards like faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, damaged electrical cords, and malfunctioning appliances are the usual suspects to blame.

Protect yourself and your family by staying on top of the electrical system in your home. This includes avoiding overloading outlets, regularly inspecting electrical cords for wear and tear, and replacing any frayed wires or damaged appliances ASAP.

Photo credit: Alavinphoto

Heating Equipment

Heating equipment can be a godsend during the colder months, but when not used properly, it can do more harm than good. Devices like space heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces can quickly become safety hazards if you aren’t careful.

So to avoid disaster, be sure to use them properly by keeping flammable objects a minimum of three feet away from any heating equipment to make sure nothing catches fire. And just like cooking with heat sources in the kitchen, you should also never leave space heaters unattended to avoid any accidents.

Another way to keep safe when operating heating equipment? Use a sturdy screen to keep sparks from flying out of the fireplace.

Smoking Materials

If you smoke inside the house, beware. Smoking indoors is another very common cause of house fires, which is part of the reason why it’s banned in public places.

Careless habits like discarding cigarettes wherever, smoking while lying in bed, or even falling asleep with a lit cigarette can lead to devastating consequences.

Avoid this by taking any smoke breaks outside the home. Even better, create a designated area for smoking equipped with proper ashtrays and waste bins for responsible disposal.

A hand holding a candle
Photo credit: Rebecca Peterson-Hall

Candles

Even though candles are the perfect tool for aromatherapy, they’re a common cause of house fires when left unattended or placed near flammable materials.

For a much safer decor alternative, you can set up flameless LED candles to decorate your space, keeping them far away from curtains, furniture, and other combustible items. When you do light candles, make sure to never walk away from a lit candle for too long, and if you need to, always blow it out before leaving the room or going to bed.

Children Playing with Fire

Children are naturally curious, but when they become fixated on matches, lighters, or other flammable materials, that curiosity can cause a lot of hurt.

If you have kids in the home, talk to them about fire safety. And be sure to keep any matches, candles, or lighters out of their reach to keep them and yourself safe.

Flammable Liquids

Improperly housing flammable liquids like gasoline, paint thinner, or solvents can pose a serious threat to a fire or explosion.

But fortunately, it calls for a pretty easy fix. Simply keep all flammable liquids in tightly sealed containers away from heat sources. Be sure to place them in a ventilated area to prevent the buildup of dangerous fumes.




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