Most Common Causes of House Fires (and How to Prevent Them)

A house fire is something everyone hopes to never experience. But the reality is that there are an average 355,400 home structure fires per year. With the right precautions, however, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a part of this horrible statistic.

Many home fires can be prevented with attentiveness and proper maintenance. By knowing the common causes of house fires, you can be proactive in keeping your home safe.

Cooking Surfaces

Cooking equipment and hot surfaces are far and away the leading cause of house fires. This includes stove tops, hot plates, griddles, and more. Typically, someone leaves food to cook or a pan to heat up, only for a fire to start while they’re away.

Whenever you have a hot surface or open flame going in your home, always remain in the room. Even if you’re just going to run to the bathroom quick or you need to grab something from another room, either turn off any open flames or have someone watch things for you.

Also never keep towels, rags, or papers near hot cooking surfaces. Lastly, always remember that hot plates, griddles, and certain stove tops can remain very hot even after you turn them off.

Electric Appliances

Electricity offers many wonderful benefits for our modern day lives. However, it’s important to always remember that electricity is very powerful and very dangerous. Not only can it shock and cause harm to your body, but it’s a common cause of house fires.

Typically, electricity fires stem from appliance breakdown or frayed cords. Always check the cords of your appliances to make sure they’re in good condition. Replace old items with newer ones after certain periods of time.

And get in the habit of unplugging appliances when you’re not using them.

Candles

Candles may look nice and smell pretty, but at the end of the day, they’re an open flame in your home. Some would caution to avoid using candles altogether. Today, you can get candle warmers, scented plugins, and fake candles, all of which can emit lovely smells without the risk of fire.

If you really love candles, and you don’t want to get rid of them, you need to handle them appropriately. Never leave a candle lit in a room that you’re not in. Be cautious with how many candles you have lit at once.

And don’t have a candle burning when you’re lying in bed. After all, 37% of candle fires start in the bedroom.

It’s worth mentioning that even when candles are handled responsibly, they can build up soot in your ductwork.

Smoking

Smoking is something that’s best avoided altogether. Not only is it a common cause for fires in homes, but it’s one of the leading causes of early death in people. Should you choose to smoke (specifically inside your home), be careful.

Always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and never smoke when you’re feeling sleepy. Much like candles, cigarettes have been shown to be especially dangerous in bedrooms.

Also, like candles, smoking can dirty your ducts. When we clean ductwork, we can tell if there have been smokers by the amount of tar built up.

Drying Machines

Dryers and washing machines cause nearly 16,000 structural fires a year, leading to 13 annual deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage. More than nine times out of ten, the fire begins with the dryer.

Over a quarter of these dryer fires start with lint. First and foremost, you should always clean out your lint trap between dryer loads. It’s so simple, there’s no excuse not to do it. Beyond that, make sure your dryer vents are being regularly inspected and cleaned.

Overtime, the vents of your dryer build up lint. This can cause your machine to overheat, which in turn, greatly increases the chances of a fire breaking out. For dryer vent cleaning in Springfield and the greater Miami Valley area, contact Air Duct Cleaning Company today.

We’ll help keep your home safe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *