The 4 Most Common Causes Of House Fires

Posted on: 24 January 2016


Having your home catch fire is a homeowner's worse nightmare. Not only will fires destroy your property, but they put the safety of you and your family at risk, as well. You should know the most common causes of house fires in order to stay vigilant and better protect your home against fire.


If you're looking for a good reason to quit smoking, here's one, smoking is one of the most common causes of house fires. Each year, house fires that are caused by smoking cause upwards of 900 deaths and injure an additional 1,500 people. It is highly recommended that if you do not quit or can't quit smoking, that you do not smoke indoors. Take your smoking outdoors and make provisions such that the cigarette can be adequately put out after you have finished smoking it. Sometimes this can be as simple as having a bucket full of sand placed outside of your front door that you regularly empty.

Electrical Wires

Overloaded electrical sockets often look quite aesthetically unpleasing. In addition to this, they are generally a severe fire hazard and are one of the leading causes of house fires. Faulty and poorly installed or maintained electrical systems are one of the leading causes of house fires and cause nearly $690 million worth of damage per year. Take this into consideration when you wish to skimp out and have cheaply installed and maintained wires placed in your house. There are things you should inspect when checking out your wires, such as frayed wires and wires that look a bit suspect, such as when the wire coating looks sliced.


It is a sad state of affairs, but intentional human intervention is one of the leading causes of house fires. In fact, a large amount of arson related crimes that occur are committed against occupied structures, so it is recommended that people be aware of this. Each year, arson fires account for almost 420 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries. Arsonists generally begin their fires in enclosed areas outside of the house, such as a trash can and then use this to start the fire in the house, so people should be aware of any suspicious looking objects such as this that are placed outside of their house.

Chimneys and Heaters

In a strange turn of events, things that are used to contain and provide heat to the home in a positive way are also a leading cause of starting house fires: chimneys and heaters. Chimneys can be quite deadly in the sense that the soot that is caked onto the inside of them can eventually congeal into a substance that is quite flammable. This is why having your chimney cleaned is not just an aesthetic concern, but a real problem that can lead to your house burning to the ground. Heaters, too, can be problematic. Make sure that your heater is clean, the filters are new, and there are no structural problems regarding its use.

If your home has been damaged in a fire, you don't have to write it off completely. You can work with fire damage service companies to help restore your home to its former glory. If your home hasn't been damaged by fire, keep this list in mind and do your best to prevent a fire in your home!