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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Top Causes of Fires

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Home and business fires can be devastating. The smoke and resulting fire damage can destroy not only you building and personal property, but can also cause injury or even death. It's important to practice safety and be aware of how fires occur so that we can avoid them at all costs. The causes of fires can vary regionally and even seasonally, but their impact is the same. We won't go into these subsets today, but we will discuss the most common causes that affect the US on a national level. So, what are the most common causes of home fires?

According to the NFPA, the top causes of fires are the following:

  1. Cooking
    1. The NFPA writes, "Cooking was the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in 2015-2019 and the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Cooking caused 49 percent of reported home fires, 20 percent of reported home fire deaths, and 42 percent of home fire injuries. In 2019, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve." Wow!
  2. Heating
    1. Heating is the second leading cause of home fires. In addition to the devastating damage, fires caused by heating result in an average of $1.1 billion in direct property damage each year. As we approach winter, it's important to practice safety and educate yourself as well as your family on proper safety protocols with heating, especially space heaters.
  3. Electrical
    1. Electrical fires are most commonly  caused by issues with electrical outlets. It's important to contact a qualified electrician if you experience any of the following:
      1. Frequent problems blowing tripping breakers
      2. A static or tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
      3. Discolored or warm wall outlet or item that has been plugged into a wall outlet
      4. A burning or rubbery smell
      5. Flickering or dimming lights
      6. Sparks or smoking from an outlet
  4. Smoking
    1. While smoking accounts for the smallest percentage of home fires, it accounts for over 1/5th of home fire related deaths. If you or a family member smokes, remember that it's best to smoke outside! This goes for e-cigarettes, too, which also fall into this category.
  5. Candles
    1. When we receive fire and smoke related calls caused by candles, it's most often because the caller forgot to extinguish before going to bed or leaving the home. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy to forget something like this! According to the NFPA, more fires caused by candles are reported on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. If you know you will be leaving your home, put your candle in an open place on your counter next to your keys so that you can remember to extinguish the flame before leaving the house. It's also helpful to have someone help you remember or setting a reminder before you light it  if you are prone to forgetting. And, for the best tip of all, if the day is hectic like for many on Christmas, just wait to light it once you can enjoy it. 

We hope this information serves you and that you can use it to educate yourself as well as your loved ones. 

If you experience property damage as a result of a fire, SERVPRO of Baldwin County is here to help. We are available 24/7/365 and can be reached by phone 251-928-9625 or email marketing@SERVPRObaldwincounty.com. Stay safe!

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