The Most Frequent Causes of Fire in the Home | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South
Fire safety is incredibly important, and we would surely all say that we know it. But to what degree are we living out the knowledge we have?
Studies show we still have a long way to go; in fact, a quarter of all reported fires in the United States are still occurring in the home, despite all that we know about the importance of prevention.
Some of these fires can’t be prevented, but many can. Let’s see what’s going on to get these fires going.
Cooking. Essentially half of all home fires start in the kitchen. These fires have varying causes, but the leading (and yet most preventable) cause is unattended cooking. That’s right, the single most effective thing you can do to prevent a fire in your house is to be attentive when you cook. Stand with your food; that’s really it.
Heating equipment. All heat and combustion invites the risk of fire, but some heaters are more dangerous than others. Portable heaters, especially older ones, present a great hazard, both because of power draw and their tendency to overload or get tipped over. Always remember to keep a three-foot radius around any heat source to avoid potential ignition.
Electrical fires. Electrical fires can spark to life from overloaded or shorted circuits, mismanaged use of power or improper use of extension cords. What’s more, circuits and outlets can degrade over time, and wiring can even be chewed by animals.
Intentional fires. This one is a little hard to swallow, but the research bears it out: Some 8%, or approximately 28,000 home fires per year are started on purpose, meaning somebody intentionally misuses heating elements to set fire to some piece of property.
Smoking materials. This one is both interesting and sad. Though smoking fires comprise only 5% of the total number of home fires, they cause almost a quarter of all home fire deaths. Cigarettes, ash and other materials are always hazardous, especially when people use them while drowsy or otherwise impaired.
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.