The Most Common Causes of Home Fires




Did you know that, according to National Fire Protection Association statistics, there are approximately 300,000-400,000 house fires in the U.S. each year? House fires cause thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in property damage. This underscores the need to make household fire safety a top priority.

The leading causes of domestic fires include:

  • Cooking-related incidents: The NFPA reports that about 40 percent of home fires are related to cooking. Common examples include leaving food on a stove or in an oven unattended, and the ignition of cooking oil or grease.
  • Malfunctioning heating units: A malfunctioning furnace poses a major fire hazard in homes during the winter. The improper use of portable space heaters can also lead to a fire, especially if they are placed too close to curtains, furniture or clothing.
  • Electrical fires: There are numerous household electrical fire hazards such as faulty wiring, the improper use of electrical equipment, covering electrical cords with rugs or carpeting and the overloading of electrical sockets and circuits.
  • Improper installation/maintenance of clothes dryers: The improper installation of a clothes dryer’s ventilation system can cause a buildup of heat that leads to a fire. The lint that collects in filters, under the dryer and inside the vents can also ignite and cause a fire.
  • Improper use/storage of flammable liquids: Many products such as cleaning agents, paint thinners and solvents contain chemicals and other ingredients that can ignite or explode if they are exposed to a heat source.
  • Careless smoking: While many smokers these days go outside to avoid impacting other household residents or to prevent the activation of the smoke detectors, careless smoking is still a leading cause of home fires. Smoking-related fire causes include failing to properly extinguish a cigarette and falling asleep while smoking in bed.
  • Unattended candles: While lit candles can bring a warm, cozy feeling, they can also present a significant fire hazard in a home. Too often, people place candles within easy reach of kids or pets or do not keep them in a sturdy holder. And many people simply forget to blow them out when leaving the room.
  • Kids playing with fire: Sadly, too many tragic household fires occur due to curious kids playing with matches or cigarette lighters that adults didn’t store properly.
  • Arson: Not every household fire is accidental in nature. The NFPA indicates that arson in a top cause of household fires — and that nearly two-thirds of intentionally set structure fires occur when the building is occupied.

Titan Alarm, Inc. Can Help Protect Your Home Against Fire

One of the most effective household fire safety steps you can take is the installation of a reliable fire alarm system. If you live in the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm, Inc. can design and install an innovative fire alarm system that will provide your best defense against a potentially devastating household fire. Contact us to explore your alarm system options today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.