Seven Unexpected Causes of Home Fires

house on fire

Every year, thousands of home fires are started by accidents. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. While it’s important to be aware of these common causes of fires, it’s also important to be aware of some lesser-known causes. Here are seven unexpected causes of home fires that you should know about.

Electrical Failure or Malfunction

Home fires can have many causes, but one of the most common is electrical failure or malfunction. This can happen when electrical wiring is damaged or poorly installed, electrical cords are frayed or damaged, or appliances are not used properly. In addition, overloaded outlets and extension cords can also lead to electrical fires.

To help prevent these types of fires, it is essential to have regular inspections of your home’s electrical system. You can rely on reliable emergency electricians for quick inspections during an emergency. This will ensure that any potential problems are caught early and corrected before they cause any damage. Additionally, follow safe practices when using electrical appliances and cords, and always watch for signs of potential problems.

Smoking Materials

Smoking materials are one of the leading causes of home fires. Cigarettes, cigars, and pipes account for almost half of all home fire deaths in the United States. There are several reasons why smoking materials are so dangerous. First, they can ignite other materials like upholstery, curtains, and bedding. Second, they can smolder for hours before finally igniting, which gives fire plenty of time to grow and spread. Finally, smokers often fall asleep while smoking, leading to tragic consequences.

Smokers can take a few simple steps to reduce the fire risk. First, always use a deep ashtray that can’t be easily tipped over. Second, never smoke in bed or when you’re feeling drowsy. And finally, make sure to properly extinguish all smoking materials before going to sleep or leaving the house. By taking these precautions, smokers can help to prevent deadly home fires.

Cooking Equipment

Home fires caused by cooking equipment are not unusual. According to data, the U.S. fire departments have received an average of over 170,000 help requests for home fires started by cooking equipment each year. The figures show that these fires have led to over 500 deaths and 4,800 injuries annually. Moreover, the fires also caused $1 billion worth of property damage.

A saucepan on top of a grill on fire

While some cooking Fires can be prevented by taking basic safety precautions such as never leaving food unattended on the stovetop, many home cooks are unaware of the potential fire hazards posed by their kitchen appliances.

For example, gas ranges and ovens can produce carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled. Additionally, deep fryers can easily overheat and start a fire if not properly monitored, and electrical faults in microwaves or other small appliances can also ignite a blaze.


Candles are a common source of home fires. According to official data, the U.S. fire departments have received help requests from over 7,000 household fires started by candles per year. The danger is especially great during the holidays when people are more likely to use candles to decorate their homes. Here are some tips to help you avoid a candle-related fire in your home:

  • Keep candles away from flammable objects, such as curtains, paper, and clothing.
  • Do not place candles on unstable surfaces, such as tables or countertops. Candles should be placed on a sturdy, heat-resistant surface.
  • Keep children and pets away from burning candles. Do not allow them to play with matches or lighters.

These simple safety tips can help prevent a devastating candle-related fire in your home.

Household Cleaning Products

The most common type of cleaning product-related fire is caused by using too much flammable cleaner on electronics, putting them at risk of catching fire. Cleaning products assumed in large quantities can also lead to accidental fires. For example, if a bottle of rubbing alcohol is left open and near a heat source, it can quickly evaporate and create an explosive situation.

To avoid these dangers, it’s essential to carefully read the labels on all household cleaners and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When using flammable products, keep them from heat sources such as stoves and candles. In addition, it’s crucial to store all cleaning supplies in a safe place where children and pets cannot reach them.

Knowing the most common causes to avoid a home fire is important. These include candles, home electronics, and cleaning products. By taking simple precautions, such as never leaving burning candles unattended and keeping flammable objects away from candles, you can help to prevent a devastating fire in your home. Similarly, by being aware of the risks posed by home electronics and cleaning products, you can help to avoid a fire in your home. By taking these simple steps, you can help to keep your home safe from fire.

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