The Top 5 Causes of House Fires (And How To Prevent Them)

The Top 5 Causes of House Fires (And How To Prevent Them)

The Top 5 Causes of House Fires (And How To Prevent Them)

In 2022 alone, there were an estimated 1.35 million fires in the United States, resulting in a little over $18 billion in property loss. Even sadder than these statistics is that the vast majority of these fires likely could have been prevented with the right safety precautions.

To help you keep your home and loved ones safe, let's take a look at some top five causes of house fires, along with some additional safety tips.

1. Cooking

Unattended cooking is listed as the number one cause of residential fires. Here are a few proven tips to help reduce the risk of starting a fire while cooking:

  • Never leave your stove unattended when cooking
  • Clean up clutter and other combustible materials from your cooking area
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to reduce the risk of knocking them over
  • Keep small children and pets away from the kitchen when cooking

2. Heating

Heating equipment such as space heaters are popular products among many homeowners, but they are also a serious fire hazard if they are not used appropriately. Always remember to:

  • Keep heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible
  • Choose heaters that come equipped with a thermostat and overheat protection features
  • Only place heaters on solid, level surfaces
  • Choose a heater with an auto shut-off feature that will turn the heater off if it gets tipped over

3. Electrical

Issues with your home's wiring can easily start a fire if they go unnoticed and unfixed. Consider the following:

  • Watch out for signs of faulty wiring such as discoloration around outlets, flickering lights, and a burning odor
  • Use a qualified electrician to perform electrical work
  • Avoid using any appliance cords or extension cords that are damaged

4. Smoking

Even a spark as small as cigarette ash can lead to a massive fire if you aren't careful so always remember to:

  • Only smoke outside
  • Make sure that you put cigarettes and cigars out all the way before disposing of them
  • Avoid smoking in bed
  • Never smoke around medical oxygen

5. Candles

Everyone loves candles, but, as a source of open flame, they need to be treated carefully. If you would like to use candles in your home safely, be sure to:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended
  • Keep candles at least one foot away from any combustible items
  • Only place candles on solid, level surfaces that won't tip over
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets

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