When a house fire occurs one of the first questions asked is ‘how did the fire start?’ Some house fires are unavoidable, caused by faulty wiring or a natural disaster like a lightning strike, these are less common however than preventable house fires. 

Below we have listed the most common reasons for fires in the home in America.

  1. Cooking

The largest number of house fires in America are caused by cooking, either in the kitchen or grilling in the backyard, over 50% of residential fires are started this way. Whether it’s a grease fire, a dish towel accidentally coming into contact with a gas burner, or unattended food burning and combusting, it is incredibly important to pay close attention whenever you are in the kitchen.

2. Home Heating Sources

Almost 10% of house fires in America are caused by the heating source in the home. This could mean a blocked air duct in your natural gas furnace system, a malfunction of your space heater system, or a good old-fashioned house fire caused by a blocked chimney in a wood-burning fireplace. Whatever the cause, routine inspection and maintenance of the heating source in your home if very important.

3. Electrical

Electrical fires can be caused by your home’s internal wiring if there are faulty wires that continually spark and short out in your walls, or electrical fires can be caused by appliances failing in some way and catching fire. When it is the latter it is typically due to either a frayed or chewed cord, or a misuse of the appliance, ie. a curling iron left on unattended. 

4. Household Chemicals

There are a number of everyday household items that have the potential to start a house fire if stored improperly. When cleaners, hairspray, or even shaving cream are stored too close to a heat source, or without following the proper storage instructions there is a chance that they could become a hazard in your home. Always read the labels when using these items.

5. Holiday Decorations and Trees

Holiday decorations add a festive touch to any occasion but they are notoriously made of potentially hazardous materials. Christmas trees in particular are responsible for around 160 house fires every year. The combination of heated-up lights near combustible materials like tinsel, decorations too close to a heat source, or improper electrical usage, ie plugging in too many extension cords, are all reasons to exercise caution when decorating for the holidays. 

6. Candles

Whenever you have an open flame of any kind in your home there is a potential fire risk. Although not as common as other fire hazards like cooking or electrical, candles are responsible for over 2,600 house fires in America annually with the bulk of these occurring in December. Leaving candles unattended increases the risk of fire as does having anything combustible within 12 inches of the flame.

7. Carelessness

Even more than Christmas trees or candles, carelessness plays a huge role in the number of fires that are started in America every year. Whether that is an unattended child playing with a lighter or matches, improperly using a combustible item like sparklers or other fireworks, or falling asleep while smoking, there are a number of reasons that fires are simply attributed to carelessness of the homeowner.

8. Intentional

As odd as it might seem almost 5% of house fires in America are caused intentionally. Insurance fraud, domestic disputes like revenge, or uncontrolled excitement are all reasons that people start fires in their own homes. 

Whatever the reason that a house fire may have occurred when it comes to restoring your home and getting it back in order the fire restoration experts at Strong Wall Construction can help. If you are dealing with the devastation and destruction of a house fire don’t hesitate to contact us today. (410) -505-7104