4 Most Common Ways A House Fire Is Started

4 Most Common Ways A House Fire Is Started

A fire can destroy an entire house and everything inside. Residential fires often cause serious injuries or death because of burns or smoke inhalation. This is especially true when smoke alarms are not installed properly or when the house is not maintained correctly. Homeowners need to be aware of the different threats throughout a house that could trigger a fire. This can help with prevention over time. The first step involves understanding the four most common ways that a house fire can start.

Electrical Sparks and Malfunctions

One of the most common causes of a house fire is electrical wiring. This includes wiring in the walls of the house, electrical systems inside appliances and power outlets. It can also include anything plugged into an outlet like a lamp or a television. Old wires generate heat because of the movement of electricity. This heat can cause the casing of the wire to ignite. Electrical systems can also ignite other nearby items or even certain types of dirt and debris. Malfunctioning appliances or outlets can throw sparks into the house that ignite carpets. This is why it is important to maintain appliances and the electrical system in the home.

Heating Systems

Another leading cause of residential fires is the heating system in the home. Some of these fires are caused by a furnace in the basement that has not been maintained properly. The large majority of fires are the result of faulty or improperly used space heaters. The amount of heat around a space heater can easily ignite curtains, upholstery and even carpets. Malfunctioning space heaters can throw sparks or embers into a room. Fires caused by heating systems are especially dangerous because they could occur overnight and grow while the family is sleeping.

Cooking Accidents and Equipment

The leading cause of fires in the home is due to cooking in the kitchen or yard. Cooking requires using an open flame or an exposed heating element. It is easy to accidentally place items like oven mitts or towels too close to the fire. This can cause a fast-burning fire that will spread through the kitchen. Fires also occur when hot oil or other foods ignite suddenly and send flames into the air. These fires often spread immediately to cabinets or curtains. Some other fires related to cooking can occur because debris in an over ignites, clothes catch on fire or a cooking device malfunctions.

Smoking and Candles

Smoking and candles remain one of the most common causes of fires in a home. Lit cigarettes and candles both have very hot embers or flames exposed to the air. Both cigarettes and candles are used in the home casually usually in the background while eating, watching television or performing another activity. Unattended cigarettes and candles can start a fire that is not detected for some time. The result is a fire that builds slowly outside the sight of people in the home. Dropped cigarettes and tipped candles can ignite carpets and furniture. These types of home fires can cause serious injuries and even death.

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