What are the top reasons for a home fire and how can you prevent them?

According to the National Fire Protection agency (NFPA), seven people die in house fires in the United States every day. House fires are typically caused by general causes and can be prevented with a little planning.

Understanding the cause of a fire can help you keep your household free of fires caused by general household routines.

Let’s take a look at the top ten causes of house fires in the United States.

  1. Cooking equipment ranks as number one on this list. Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire quickly if the chef leaves the pots unattended. If you are cooking, stay in the kitchen or ask someone to watch over the food while you leave the room.

  2. Portable heaters come in second. If you have a small space heater to keep the chill out of the air, make sure that it is far enough away from anything flammable. This can mean curtains, clothes, furniture, blankets, etc. Anything that can catch fire should be at least 4 feet away from the unit. Always remember to turn off the heater and unplug from the wall when you leave the room.

  3. Keep smoking in bedrooms off limits. While you may think that the cigarette you just finished is completely put out, it may still be smoldering a little in the wastebasket. That single ember can cause a flame if it comes in contact with anything flammable like paper, clothing, curtains, etc.

  4. Faulty electrical equipment can cause a house fire through an overloaded outlet, frayed cord, or even an extension cord that is not properly grounded into an outlet.

  5. Open candle flames that are unattended can easily burst into flames if near anything flammable. If candles are near books, tissue boxes, plants, or anything else flammable, a fire can quickly start and get out of control.

  6. Children and matches or a lighter are a combination that can easily cause a fire. Kids are curious about what happens when setting objects on fire, and this can lead to a situation that will escalate quickly, potentially resulting in a major house fire. Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children. Be sure to discuss the importance of fire safety with children and answer any questions that they may have.

  7. Barbecues and fire pits that are too close to table cloths, tree branches, or plants can cause a fire to catch and spread quickly. With a barbecue grill, a kerosene container can be incredibly dangerous if near an open flame. Never leave a lit grill unattended and always be aware of the location of a propane tank.

  8. Faulty wiring can cause small sparks. These sparks can catch onto flammable materials quickly turning a spark into a full house fire. If you notice dimming lights when turning on an appliance, fuses the blow regularly, or appliances that need to be unplugged to use another – these are all signs of fault wiring. Discuss this issue with your landlord or call in electrician to check  your wiring.

  9. Light bulbs that sit too close to a lamp shade can overheat. If the shade is made of fabric materials, this can cause a hole to burn in to the shade and also result in a potential fire. Make sure all lamp shades fit properly and that bulbs do not rest on the shades themselves.

  10. Flammable liquids that are kept in common areas are prime accelerants for a fire. These liquids can include gasoline, lighter fluid, propane, or even high alcohol content liquor. Be careful when smoking or lighting anything around these liquids. As always, practice caution when disposing of these items.

Fire Damage Restoration Services 

If you experience a house fire due to any of the above or any other issues, McMahon Services and Construction is here with emergency fire restoration services. We have a team of trained professionals that will manage your home restoration from beginning to end. We work quickly to get you back into your home as fast as possible. Reach out now – we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency fire services.