What Are the Common Causes of House Fires?

House fires are not only dangerous, but they can also be expensive. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the average cost of a house fire is more than $45,000.

Let’s look at some of the potential causes of house fires so you know what to watch out for.

Top 5 Causes of House Fires

While there are many house fire causes, the following 5 things are some of the most common.

1. Cooking Fires

Cooking-related fires are the number one cause of house fires, making up more than 40 percent of these incidents. The combination of hot burners on the stove and intense heat in the oven can lead to serious problems if you’re not careful.

Food or cooking equipment can catch fire and quickly get out of control. Don’t leave the kitchen unattended when a source of heat is turned on and make sure you’ve got the appropriate type of fire extinguisher nearby.

2. Smoking

Aside from the health-related deaths, smoking causes almost 1,000 deaths every year as a result of a house fire.

A lit cigarette can start a fire if it’s dropped on various items in a typical house. And smoking in bed can lead to problems if you fall asleep with a lit cigarette.

The best way to avoid this type of fire is to only smoke outdoors.

3. Christmas Tree Fires

Fresh Christmas trees are also common causes of fires in people’s homes. They’re usually around for several weeks and can dry out quickly if you’re not careful.

The combination of a dry tree and strings of lights that can create heat creates a dangerous potential for fire. Make sure you keep some fire safety tips in mind if you have a fresh tree at Christmas.

4. Candles

Roughly 18,000 house fires are started by candles every year in the U.S. In most cases, these fires start because people aren’t paying close enough attention to those open flames.

Never leave a candle unattended and be sure there are no flammable materials near them while they’re burning. You should also keep the candle’s wick trimmed to a reasonable length to limit the height of the flame.

Or, to be completely sure you’re safe, opt for battery-powered candles instead of an open flame.

5. Electrical Fires

Faulty wiring causes more than 50,000 house fires every year in the U.S. These fires account for nearly 2,000 injuries and deaths and the estimated cost of damages is about $1.3 billion.

These fires are most often caused by a short circuit that causes arcing, or sparking, that sets nearby materials on fire. Older wiring is particularly at risk of electrical fires.

Where to Turn for Help After a Fire

These may be the most common causes of house fires but if you’ve had a fire, it doesn’t matter if the cause was common or not. At that point, you need to deal with the problem.

If you’re in San Diego County, Christian Brothers can help. We offer 24-hour fire and smoke restoration services to help you get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.