One of the worst things any family or homeowner can experience is a house fire.

Not only are they incredibly dangerous to your health and safety, but they also have the potential to destroy everything you own. While most possessions can be replaced, sentimental items, family heirlooms, and lives are irreplaceable. 

The question is, what can you do to eliminate fire risks around the home. To answer that question, we need to dive into the most common causes of house fires. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Most Common Causes of House Fires

While it may not seem like a credible threat, each year, there are over 350,000 residential fires.

But what’s causing them?

  1. Cigarette Butts

One of the most prevalent fire hazards is cigarettes. Smoking can be a dangerous habit outside of what it does to your health. A discarded cigarette butt negligently tossed aside has a significant potential to start a fire.

  1. Candles

Candles are also among some of the most common causes of house fires. People tend to light them and forget them. Unfortunately, even the smallest candles placed in an unfortunate spot can quickly lead to an out-of-control fire.

  1. Heating Devices

Heating appliances and devices such as space heaters and baseboard heaters can lead to fires when curtains and other fabrics or flammable objects are left too close. Heaters requiring fuel sources such as kerosene, propane, and gas can be especially dangerous. They have the potential to explode and cause more damage.

  1. Cooking Fires

Some of the most common fire hazards at home can be found in the kitchen. Cooking-related fires often result when the resident leaves a hot stove or oven unattended. Kitchen fires can also start if a pan of oil gets too hot, which can lead to spontaneous combustion (even without an open flame).

  1. Electrical Malfunctions

Poor electrical wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment are also common causes of house fires. Fortunately, there are electrical safety devices you can invest in to prevent this from happening in your home. We also suggest having a professional electrician inspect your home, especially if you’ve recently moved in.

  1. Christmas Trees

Over the course of the Christmas season, a natural pine Christmas tree will dry out and become highly susceptible to combustion. At this point, a small flame or too much heat from an electrical source (space heater, candles, lights, etc.) can lead to a fire.

  1. Child-Related Accidents

Preventing house fires means educating young children about fire safety. Children of all ages are curious and fire is an interesting element. Unfortunately, curious children playing with fire is one of the most common causes of house fires.

We recommend limiting your child’s access to fire starters of all kinds, such as lighters, matches, and any sort of spark-maker.

Looking for More Great Content?

There’s a lot that goes into being a responsible homeowner.

Now that you’ve learned about some of the most common causes of house fires, take a look into some of our articles about homeownership, raising children, and more!