The 9 Most Common Causes Of House Fires And How To Prevent Them

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source: Green Living Ideas

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2017, firefighters responded to 1,319,500 fires in the United States. Of those fires, there were 3,400 civilian deaths, and 77% of those deaths occurred as a result of a house fire. Although these statistics are quite frightening, there are many things you can do to prevent a house fire from happening. Here are the 9 most common causes of house fires and the ways in which you can prevent them.

1. Unattended Cooking

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Leaving the stove unattended while cooking results in an astonishing amount of house fires each year. As a rule, if you are cooking something on a burner or in the oven, stay in the kitchen closely monitoring your food until it’s finished cooking.

2. Portable Heaters

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Portable heaters can overheat extremely quickly. The majority of portable heater-related fires occur because someone has carelessly placed the heater too close to bedding, clothing, or other flammable materials. If you are using a portable heater, ensure it’s not overheating and that you are in the same room as it when it’s being used.

3. Candles

source: KTVZ

Between leaving a candle unattended and forgetting you have one lit altogether, candles account for a number of house fires each year. If you’re burning a candle, stay in the same room as it, and ensure it’s far away from children, pets, and flammable items.

4. Electrical Cords

source: Kim Komando Show

Frayed, damaged cords and plugging too many electronics into one outlet or extension cord results in a massive amount of fires each year. If you notice a cord is damaged, throw it out. And never overload an outlet or extension cord with devices.

5. Old Or Improper Wiring

source: Alpine Heating and Cooling

If the wiring in your home is old or wasn’t done correctly, you’re at risk of experiencing a house fire. Ensure that all wiring in your home is up to current home code standards.

6. Smoking

source: The New Home Buyers Network Blog / Photo credit: Dave Martin

It seems incredible that we still have to talk about this, but cigarettes still account for a ton of house fires each year. If you do smoke, you should always smoke outside and ensure you are carefully putting out your cigarettes afterwards.

7. Unattended Children

source: Lincoln County Fire News / Shutterstock

Children are curious by nature, and unfortunately, this sometimes results in house fires. Always ensure that matches, lighters, and other fire hazards are kept far away from children.

8. Barbecues

source: BBQ Fail

Although you barbecue outside, having a barbecue that’s situated too closely to your home’s exterior wall, an outdoor table, or tree can easily lead to an all-consuming house fire.

9. Dryers

source: Fire 9 Prevention

You may not think much of cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap, but failing to do so results in a frightening amount of house fires each year. You should clean out your dryer’s lint trap after every single cycle, and clean out the ventilation system at least once a year.