Know 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires

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house fires

Although the usual causes of house fires are well-recognized, unanticipated incidents can sometimes occur. Because fire is such an unpredictable energy that can spread swiftly, even seemingly routine activities can become dangerous very fast. These fire-related mishaps can be disastrous even when they happen rapidly. Fires can easily result in injuries or fatalities as well as property damage worth thousands of dollars. Everyone should know what constitutes a home fire hazard and exercise caution when handling open flames.

Prevention is preferable to treatment in the meantime. In all other instances, however, we quote the politician Bob Riley, who once remarked, “I don’t need the fire chief telling me that I shouldn’t have built my house out of wood if it’s on fire.” Someone somebody put out the fire for me.

Many of these fires could indeed have been avoided. By putting these easy safety precautions into practice, you might be able to prevent a disaster. By placing fire extinguishers in homes and being aware of the most prevalent causes of house fires, it is possible to prevent the destruction of buildings and other property as well as the possible loss of life.


  1. Cooking

Cooking fires are one of the most common types of house fires, accounting for nearly half of all residential fires. A saucepan or skillet that overheats or splatters oil can ignite in a matter of seconds. While cooking, pay close attention to what you’re doing, especially if you’re using oil or high heat. Combustibles like dishcloths, paper towels, and oven mitts should be kept away from heat sources. Consider keeping a fire blanket or appropriate fire extinguisher close at hand in case of an emergency.


With 48% of all reported residential fires, cooking fires are by far the most frequent cause of house fires. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Home Structure Fires 2019 Report states that it is also the primary cause of home fire injuries and the second-leading cause of house fires fatalities.
Although kitchen fires are the most frequent cause of house fires, grease fires are typically the only ones that cause significant damage. Your frying oil will begin to smoke and eventually catch fire when it gets too hot—above 375 degrees Fahrenheit. You must take immediate action to stop the fire from starting if you see the first signs of smoke.

If you unintentionally start a grease fire in your kitchen, remember these few pointers:

  • Eliminate the heat source.
  • Put a metal cover over the burning oil.
  • Add a lot of baking soda to tiny grease flames.
  • Apply a dry chemical fire extinguisher (Class B).
  • Get away and dial 911.

There are a few important factors to keep in mind with grease fires:

  • Never use water.
  • Never move the burning pot somewhere else.
  • All other baking ingredients are not safe to use; only baking soda

2. Heating Equipment Malfunction

In houses, items like fabrics and other combustibles may catch fire if they are positioned too close to space heaters and baseboard heaters. Kerosene heaters and other fuel-powered heaters pose a special risk to the user since they have the potential to explode or catch fire if not handled with extreme caution. Every heating item you use should come with instructions, and you should make sure it’s in good working order regularly. The heater should never be turned on before leaving the house.

heating equipment

The second most common cause of house fires and injuries caused by them is portable heaters. Because so many households disregard the space restrictions these objects require, they are the source of so many fires. Heaters come to include labels or boxes that contain particular directions about how close they can be to walls, furniture, and other things.

These space requirements are not merely suggestions; they have undergone testing and are necessary to guarantee your safe usage of the product and to avert any fires that may be caused by it.

A flammable object, piece of furniture, or wall may catch fire if a heater is left near a pile of clothes or an exposed wall because of the slow buildup of heat. If a wall starts to burn, you should flee.

To protect you and your family from any potential heater-related fires, it is crucial to constantly read the safety instructions given the large range of models and types of space heaters. Be advised that compared to their electrical counterparts, fuel-powered heaters (such as kerosene) have a higher risk of starting a house fires.

3. Electrical Malfunctions

Arcing, or sparking, which results from short circuits, loose connections, or circuits that are overloaded with electricity and overheat the wires, ignites building materials.

Take care not to catch fire:

  • Your electrical equipment doesn’t have any frayed or loose plugs or cables.
  • Your outlets don’t have an excessive number of plugs.
  • Electrical cables are not run beneath large, bulky furniture or rugs.
  • You’re not using an extension cord or adaptor a lot.
electric fires

A significant fraction of house fires are caused by broken electrical outlets or bad wiring. Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reports that every year, electrical fires cause over 51,000 house fires and more than 500 fatalities.

Get a home inspected before purchasing to prevent any mishaps or issues that can lead to an electrical fire. In addition, arrange for sporadic inspections to guarantee that your lighting fixtures and electrical system are safe and up to code. Firefighters advise upgrading your fire alarms every ten years along with the batteries.

Ask if they will inspect your alarms for free at your local fire station. Several fire departments are pleased to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones as part of this program.

4. Smoking-related fires

One of the most frequent causes of house fires is the result of negligent smoking habits. Sometimes smoking makes individuals fall asleep. They could end up with a fire on their bed, couch, or other piece of furniture. Ensure that smoking is not allowed anywhere in the house, especially in the bedrooms. Make use of large, deep ashtrays, keep them away from combustible objects, and scan furniture for embers or dropped cigarettes.

Although they only make up 5% of all house fires, smoking materials such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are the main cause of death in house fires. There are several reasons for this. Internally lighted smoking materials are compact and easily forgotten. Although many people find smoking to be a soothing hobby, smoking increases the risk of falling asleep, which could result in the ignited substance dropping to the floor and setting carpet or other combustible objects on fire.

smoking related fires

When at all feasible, smoke outside, and never leave lit smoking materials unattended. Avoid unwinding or lounging on combustible furniture if you must smoke indoors as this raises the chance of dozing off. If you’re smoking, stay conscious and attentive at all times.

Most fire-related fatalities occurred in the family room, den, living room, or bedroom. If you smoke, make sure to completely extinguish any lighted butts—don’t just throw them away. The most common cause of smoking-related deaths is the smoker dozing off and not waking up in time.

5. Candles

Candles are loved by all. We light candles for relaxation, night vision, and birthday celebrations. Nonetheless, we must always remember that candles are an open flame in our houses. Approximately one-third of all house fires caused by candles occur in the bedroom, and candles are responsible for 3% of all home fire fatalities. Every day, twenty-one candle fires are reported, accounting for 6% of casualties from residential fires.


It’s important to always keep an eye on a candle and to put it out before leaving the room or going to bed. Instead of using emergency candles, homeowners should think about alternate solutions, such as battery-operated flashlights. They should also always keep flammable objects at least 12 inches away from candles.


It is crucial to install Fire Fighting Equipment to prevent fire at any place. Naman Fire is one of India’s top manufacturers of fire protection equipment. Connect with us to know more. 

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