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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are the Most Common Causes of House Fires?

2/12/2023 (Permalink)

Candle burning. Candles are a common culprit in house fires, but they don't have to be.

Fires are a serious threat to any home. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly half of all home fires start in the kitchen, making it the most common place for a fire to start. To protect yourself and your family from this threat, you need to know how the most common types of fires start and how you can prevent them. Below are some of the most common causes of house fires:


Cooking is the leading cause of house fires in the United States. Over half of all home cooking-related fire injuries occur when someone is cooking, like a turkey or a pot on the stove. Here are some things you can do to prevent these types of fires:

  • Don't leave the room while the food is cooking. When you're making anything that involves fat, grease, or oil, be extra careful and never leave it unattended.
  • Keep your kids safe from burns by teaching them how dangerous hot surfaces can be when they touch them. Also, make sure everyone knows how important clothing choices are when dealing with high temperatures while cooking.

Space Heaters and Furnaces

Heating equipment is the second-leading cause of house fires, with space heaters and furnaces among the biggest culprits. Space heaters must be used properly to avoid fires. They should be placed away from flammable materials and cleaned regularly. Furnaces should also be checked every year during regular maintenance visits to ensure that they do not have any problems that could cause a fire.

The installation of your heating system can also contribute to house fires if it is not done properly or if you have an older unit that needs replacement. It’s important to have a professional inspect your furnace before each winter season so that any necessary repairs can be made before you use it again in the colder weather months ahead.

Electrical Equipment

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment are other common cause of house fires. Electrical equipment can cause fires if they are not properly maintained and inspected. The most common causes of electrical fires in homes, businesses, and industrial facilities are:

  • Faults in the wiring or connections
  • Faulty or damaged equipment
  • The wrong type of power supply or incorrect installation


Smoking is a leading cause of fire-related deaths in the home. Smoking is also a major contributor to house fires, especially those that start while you're sleeping. Over 50% of all smoking-related fires occur in bed, and more than half of these are caused by cigarettes left smoldering after being snuffed out or falling into the bedding.

Smoking-related fires can be easily prevented by taking the following steps:

  • Avoid smoking in bed or near anything flammable
  • Always use a sturdy ashtray on a hard surface when smoking
  • Properly dispose of cigarette butts and cigars after use


Candles are a common culprit in house fires, but they don't have to be. In fact, if you're careful with them, there's no reason why candles can't be a safe and enjoyable addition to your home. Just follow these simple steps and you'll keep your home fire-free:

  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Keep candles out of reach of flammable materials.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended; extinguish them when leaving the room or going to sleep.

Fire Poses A Serious Threat

When you think about what causes fires, cooking often comes to mind. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), cooking is responsible for more than half of all home fires each year in America. Electrical equipment and smoking are also common causes of house fires, as are candles and heating appliances like space heaters or furnaces.

Now that you know what to watch out for, it's easier to avoid these situations and protect your family from fire hazards. If your home or business suffers from a fire, don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Kansas City Midtown team a call today for all your fire damage cleanup and restoration needs!

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