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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Top Ten Reasons That Cause Home Fires

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Every home faces the potential for a numerous assortment of risks with the most dangerous of the array being a house fire. An accidental fire can occur from many household items and can easily decimate a house in minutes if it is not properly and quickly handled.

While proper insurance can help mitigate financial loss, it is better to understand and work to prevent the situations that lead to house fires of any kind. Most homes have many combustible items.

This list is meant to help homeowners not only identify potential issues but also lower the risk of someone having a house fire. Whether it’s a candle accidentally burning throughout the night, faulty cooking equipment or any other scenario, homeowners should be aware of the most common causes of house fires and work to minimize and prevent accidents before they occur.

10. Barbeque

During the outdoor cooking season, grills left unattended on a wooden deck or next to a wall of a home can bring about a fire. A heated grill next to a wooden fence can easily cause fire.  Grills have been known to ignite the exterior walls of a home or garage if they are placed too close.

9.Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are a holiday favorite for many as a staple to the holiday season, but they also come with many risks. Especially when the tree becomes dry.  A quick spark can set the whole tree on fire. Make sure to keep your trees water reservoir full and to unplug the tree when you are not at home.

8.Inadequate Wiring in The Home

These fires erupt from overheating.  To minimize this from occurring, make sure systems are installed properly with protective features.

7.Children Playing with Fire

Children are very curious and will sometimes get access to flammable objects and put property at risk. This includes matches, stove tops, candles and more. Make sure to keep lighters, candles, and matches out of reach from kids.


The lighters and matches utilized to light candles are just as dangerous as the candle themselves. Fires can start from unsupervised candles and children getting a hold of them.

5.Electrical Equipment

These fires normally erupt from short circuiting which, in turn, causes sparking to ignite materials in the household. These are difficult to locate, because they are often in hidden locations and a fire can build before the residents can know about the situation.

4.Careless Smoking

Cigarette butts are a large perpetrator for house fires as cigarettes will sometimes be left unattended or dropped.

3.Flammable liquids

Chemical fires occur from spontaneous combustion: this is a reaction of chemicals combining with oxygen to produce enough heat to ignite. Be sure to store fuels and other chemicals in proper containers that are protected from heat.

2.Heating Equipment

When in the presence of fabrics or other combustibles, personal space heaters and baseboard heaters can create a house fire. It is recommended to never leave the house with a space heater running.

1.Cooking Equipment

Out of all the scenarios, the most common residential fires come from cooking.  Cooking makes up almost half of all house fires. This can occur from grease and oil being overheated in the stove or oven.  For grease and oil to combust without needing direct flame contact, many times, the open flames and ovens are left unattended when in use and aren't attended too until it is too late. Another source to look out for are portable cooking appliances which includes electric griddles and toasters. These appliances must be cool to the touch before being stored away. You practice safety by making sure to clean pans to eliminate grease build-up along with removing crumbs and scraps from toasters and electric griddles.

Contact SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County 24/7 at 803-324-5780 if you have any questions. 

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