All about the most common causes of residential fires |

All about the most common causes of residential fires


Every few years, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issues a report that provides us fire professionals with insight into the top reasons behind certain fires in certain situations. Obviously, one of the most eagerly anticipated reports they provide is the one that details the top reasons for residential house fires.

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the things detailed on that report and discuss how some of these issues can be avoided so that your family is happy, healthy and safe. Let’s jump right in!

Moving in the right direction

One of the good bits of news to come from this report is that residential fires continue to decline. In fact, over the past 40 years, the number of house fires has dropped by almost half. Which is great news!

What’s not great news is that the death rate per 1,000 fires still stays fairly consistent at around 7 to 10 deaths. Educating yourself and talking about fire safety with your family is imperative to ensure everyone’s safety in the event of an emergency. Prevention and preparation is always the best policy – and make sure you discuss a fire safety plan with your loved ones.


Cooking accidents occur for about half of all house fires reported each year. Half of those reported will cause injuries and they’re the second leading cause of death in house fires. Now the good news is – most cooking fires are small fires that don’t spread from the immediate area in which they started. The problem comes when people try to control the fires, themselves.

Cooking grease, oil and fats are usually the source of fires that begin in kitchens and making sure you have the proper suppression system (the correct fire extinguisher) is really important. Keep a smaller fire extinguisher handy and if that doesn’t work, leave the house immediately, get to safety and call 911.

Heating equipment

In the past decade or so, home heating systems and appliances are the second leading cause of house fires. Space heaters and wood stoves account for many of the injuries, deaths and accidents that occur so make sure you’re aware when you’re using them. Turn off your space heater when you’re not in the room. Make sure fireplaces and stoves are turned down or controlled in order to prevent overheating. While these are all great additions to have in your home, if you’re not careful, a fire could start.


The number of smokers in the US have declined substantially since the 1990’s but it’s still a common source of house fires. Put out your cigarettes after you smoke them and be sure you’re always checking your smoke detectors and fire alarms to make sure they’re functioning. One errant cigarette can cause a whole host of problems.

At the end of the day, being prepared and aware of your surroundings is what’s most important when it comes to fire safety. Have the right equipment, make sure your alarms are working and make sure all of them are up to date and working. If you need help putting a plan together for your home, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation.

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