The Surprising Causes of Home Fires | SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County
Anytime something is both widespread and negatively impactful, we want to know the causes so we can reduce the frequency and damage. That’s why for decades there have been steady fire safety awareness campaigns, ads and printed materials.
And yet, despite all this effort and marketing, more than a quarter of all reported fires happen in the home, mostly due to preventable causes.
So what are these causes, and how many of them can you avoid? Let’s find out. Here are the most common ways fires get started at home.
Cooking. You probably can’t avoid cooking altogether, but you can avoid the most common of the 49% of fires that start in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires, and you can prevent it easily by being mindful and always present at the stove or grill.
Heating equipment. One of the leading cause of heating fires is the misuse or careless use of portable space heaters, which cause a chunk of the 14% of home fires heating equipment causes. Make sure you use new space heaters with additional safety features, and never leave anything flammable within three feet of any heating elements.
Electrical fires. Your home likely uses a lot of power, and while you can’t stop all instances of electrical fires, you can prevent many. Always keep your electrical system maintained and updated when necessary, and avoid things like overusing extension cords, using high-watt bulbs in light fixtures or keeping decorative lighting plugged in overnight.
Intentional fires. This might sound a little unbelievable, but 28,000 intentional home fires occur each year in the U.S., stemming from conscious misuse of heating materials to set fire to various kinds of property.
Smoking materials. Smoking fires only account for 5% of home fires, but they’re actually the most likely types of fire to be fatal. Almost a quarter of all civilian fire casualties are caused by fires started by cigarettes and other paraphernalia. Smoking in bed is a common thread among these kinds of fires.
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.