The Top Causes of House Fires | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties
The thought of a fire is truly terrifying for any homeowner—it’s unpredictable, quick to spread out of control and can create complete devastation. One would think homeowners would go to any lengths to avoid this nightmare, but yet, despite decades of awareness campaigns and increased technology, over a quarter of all reported fires still happen at home.
Let’s examine the common causes of these fires, and see if we can’t shed some light on fire safety deficiencies and point some homeowners toward more ways they can stay alert.
Cooking. This is the top cause of fire and fire injuries by a long shot (though not the leading cause of fire casualties). Almost 50% of all house fires begin in the kitchen, and the leading cause is unattended cooking. That’s right—the No. 1 thing you can do to avoid a raging fire at home is to be attentive in the kitchen and stay at the stove. It really is that simple.
Heating equipment. Some 14% of all house fires in the U.S. begin with heaters. Portable space heaters lead the way, aided by equipment malfunctions and fires that start because clothing or materials are too close to heating elements.
Electrical fires. There are a number of causes of electrical fires—everything from faulty wiring to using high-watt bulbs in low-watt sockets. Additionally, we don’t often take into consideration that older homes may not be equipped for the amount of electricity modern living requires.
Intentional fires. It’s a rather astonishing figure: 28,000 intentional home fires burn every year. These are fires begun with the intention of setting a structure ablaze, as opposed to being set for some other purpose and simply breaking containment.
Smoking materials. Many smoking accidents happen as people fall asleep, leaving ashes to burn or blow away, or causing cigarettes, cigars or even vapes to combust or fall to the ground. This results in a low amount of fires, but sadly turns into the leading cause of fire deaths.
Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your SERVPRO team today to see how we can help.