Understand the Leading Causes of House Fires | SERVPRO® of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County
The many responsibilities of owning a home are significant. But one of the most important items in the home is fire safety.
The scenario of having a fire is a daunting prospect to most homeowners! Fires are unpredictable, spread quickly and often cause enormous devastation. It’s something homeowners go to great lengths to avoid.
But despite years of ad campaigns and awareness advertising, more than a quarter of all reported fires still occur at home.
Let’s take a look at the top causes and see if we can drive these numbers down through prevention techniques:
Cooking. Cooking is the No.1 cause of house fires. Half of all home fires start in the kitchen, and the leading reason is unattended cooking! It only makes sense that the top priority for avoiding a house fire is never to leave the kitchen while cooking.
Heating equipment. Around 14% of all home fires across the country are started because of heating equipment. A mixture of equipment malfunctions, mishaps and flammable substances placed too close to heaters leads to this particular scenario being among the most common, and portable space heaters are the top culprit.
Electrical fires. Wiring in older homes can often lead to fires being started by electrical causes. Faulty wiring, the overloading of circuits and a generally higher usage of electricity than older houses can handle are all factors that contribute to electrical fires at home. New technology and updated electrical codes have played a part in reducing this cause. A house is generally considered old when it passes 50 years of existence. Older homes should have frequent electrical inspections to ensure the wiring won’t pose a danger to the house or homeowner.
Intentional fires. It’s hard to believe that arson accounts for more than 28,000 intentional home fires started every year. Intentional means exactly that—the fire was started on purpose with the intent of damaging or destroying the structure.
Smoking materials. We’re all glad smoking has steadily declined over the last 50 years since the Surgeon General published his initial report that smoking is detrimental to your health. But while only being responsible for 5% of home fire occurrences, fires started by smoking materials are the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. Victims are more susceptible because they often fall asleep while cigarettes are still burning.
Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.