House Fires & Their Top Causes
The thought of fire—unpredictable, quick to spread and potentially devastating for a home and family—causes nightmares for homeowners. One would imagine homeowners would go to any and all lengths to avoid this kind of disaster, and yet a quarter of all reported fires still occur in the home, despite all we now know about fire safety and decades of safety campaigns.
So we’re here to once again raise the issue and make sure you know the dangers of home fires—let’s look at the most common ways they start.
Cooking. Cooking is by far the No. 1 cause of house fires and injuries, although there’s another cause that claims more lives. Half of all house fires start at the stove or in the kitchen, and most of those begin because of unattended cooking. Yes, the single highest cause of all home fires is preventable simply by being present and paying attention while you cook.
Heating equipment. Heaters start 14% of all fires at home. Many of these are caused by portable space heaters in colder months, which tip over or catch nearby curtains, furniture or clothes on fire.
Electrical fires. An under-represented cause of fire is the fact that we generally use more electricity than many old homes are wired for. Combine this fact with the tendency of wiring and outlets to develop faults and seasonal overloads for lighting, and you start to see exactly how easy it is for electrical fires to start at home.
Intentional fires. You might not believe it, but there are some 28,000 intentional home fires each year in the United States. These are fires that began with the intention of burning a structure, not simply fires set on purpose for some other reason that got out of control.
Smoking materials. Smoking materials, while responsible for only 5% of home fires, are tragically responsible for more fire deaths than any other cause. Ashes are often left burning as victims fall asleep, leaving little time to react and increasing carbon monoxide toxicity.
Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.