The NFPA revealed that over 300,000 home fires occur each year. In these fires, one person gets injured every half an hour, while another perishes every 142 minutes.
Additionally, the NFPA revealed that over 300,000 home fires take place each year. These are alarming figures, stressing the importance of determining the usual causes of home fires to prevent further damage and death.
Common House Fire Causes
Per the NFPA, below are the most common reasons fires erupt in residential houses.
Unsurprisingly, cooking ranks first in the list of popular sources of house fires. Yet, from 2013 to 2017, this accounts for 49% of all residential blazes.
The basic rule in the kitchen is not to leave your cooking unattended. It’s a simple precautionary measure but one that is easily forgotten. In this regard, it’s best to remember grease easily catches fire when used in the kitchen. As to when cooking fires frequently happen, the Thanksgiving Day holiday tops the list, especially when cooking is done in open flames.
2. Heating Equipment
Space heaters and furnaces are normally used to regulate indoor temperatures during winter. While these heating devices make homes warm and cozy, they can also cause fires if they aren’t attended to properly. For example, placing them near home furnishings such as carpets and draperies is dangerous because these materials can easily catch fire. Similarly, leaving space heaters and other heating equipment turned on is a bad idea if you are not home.
3. Faulty Wiring
According to Deep Water Emergency Services and Restoration, house fires also occur due to poor, damaged, or obsolete electrical wiring. These can become damaged over time because of wear and tear. Usually, you’ll receive signs when this happens. These include circuit breaker trips, warm or vibrating sockets, buzzing or flickering lights, and discolored outlets. On the other hand, damage to your wiring is already serious if you notice the presence of smoke and your outlets emit a strange and fire-smelling odor.
4. Christmas Trees
This might be hard to believe, but Christmas trees can also be a source of house fires. According to the NFPA, Christmas tree fires are responsible for $14.8 million in property damage each year.
When decorating real pine trees for the Yuletide season, remember that they can become dry and brittle if not adequately watered, making them highly flammable. Even artificial trees can become a kindling of sorts should the Christmas lights overheat or if placed near heat sources such as bonfires or furnaces.
5. Smoking Materials
Although lighters, matchsticks, and cigarettes are relatively small, they can set off large fires inside the house. For instance, a common cause of many bedroom fires is a cigarette butt that was not put out properly after this has been smoked indoors. Cigarette embers can stay hot for hours and even go airborne, which can ignite a fire if they come into contact with flammable materials such as drapes and carpets.
Candles are rarely used in most households, but they are still considered among the leading causes of house fires. Often used during power outages or setting the mood for a romantic dinner, candles should be put out immediately after use.
Malfunctioning appliances are not only a nuisance but can also mean danger. According to the NFPA’s 2015 report, home fires caused by broken home appliances resulted in $7 billion in damage.
When a faulty appliance continues to be used, it can cause electrical sparks, which can set off a fire. Dishwashers, microwave ovens, dryers, toasters, stoves, and refrigerators are among the home appliances that cause fires more often than others.
Tips to Prevent House Fires
It would be best if you prevented house fires from happening so you won’t have to deal with structural damage, costly repairs, injuries, or even death. Inspect your smoke alarms, appliances, and every home heating device regularly to ensure that these are not damaged or malfunctioning. It’s also a good idea to invest in a fire extinguisher that you should place where you can quickly locate and access in case of emergencies.
House fires are common disasters, but the strange thing is that they can actually be prevented. For example, a kitchen fire need not happen if you stay close to the kitchen and do not leave the area until you’re done cooking. A fire in the bedroom can easily be avoided if you ensure that your cigarette is completely put out in the ashtray after you’ve finished smoking.
In short, many things that lead to a house fire are often due to personal carelessness. If you can practice self-discipline and learn to value the things you have, then incidents of house fires can be significantly minimized, if not completely prevented.
We hope you found this blog post on 7 Things That Commonly Lead to a Fire in the House useful. Be sure to check out our post on Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe during the Holidays for more great tips!
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