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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Leading Causes of Home Fires

6/23/2022 (Permalink)

Fires begin due to several causes. Anytime heat sources are used or misused, there is a rusk of an errant flame taking off.

Despite all the advertising and education that has gone into a home fire safety and prevention, fires in the home still account for a quarter of all reported fires in the United States each year.

Let’s investigate this. What is behind all these home fires? How many of these fires could be prevented?

Cooking. The overwhelming leader in home fires is cooking. Some cooking fires are avoidable, most are! The top cause of cooking fires? Unattended cooking. Taken into actionable steps, that means that the number one thing you can do to make your house safer from fire is to be more careful when you cook, and never leave your stovetop or grill alone.

Heating equipment. Heating equipment causes the second highest number of home fires. While some of it is caused by equipment failure, much of this cause comes in the form of portable space heaters, which are prone to tipping over, overheating, or overloading circuits. And of course, any heater is capable of setting fire to objects of materials that sit closer than three feet away.

Electrical fires. Some electrical fires hide behind your walls and are difficult to catch. But routine maintenance and inspection can reveal problems present and forthcoming, so can responsibly use of extension cords, lighting, and wattage limitations.

Intentional fires. It is unnerving to think about it, but a surprising 28,000 intentional home fires are started each year. This does not include fires started for a regular purpose that get out of hand, only fires started with the intent of burning a piece of property.

Smoking materials. Fires caused by smoking materials make up only 5% of home fires, but they make up more than a quarter of all home fire deaths. Smoking fires often happen because cigarettes are dropped or remain lit as individuals lie in bed, creating both fire and carbon monoxide hazards.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of South Kenosha County is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Call 262-332-7044, we are here to help!

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