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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Top Causes of Home Fires | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know fires are the No. 1 cause of home injury? More than slipping in the shower, tumbling down the stairs or stepping on Legos, fires happening in the house cause bodily harm.

According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, there are an average of 358,500 structural fires in homes each year in the United States, in which over 3,000 Americans die. The Stanford Children’s Hospital reports that at least one child perishes in a home fire every day.

What’s causing all these fires?


Cooking is by far the highest source of home fires. High temperatures, grease and sometimes open flame can create a scenario in which fires occur.

In the summer, grills on decks and near home walls can be a serious danger as well. The No. 1 way to prevent these 49% of home fires? Stay close and pay attention.

Heating Appliances

Around 12% of all home fires are caused by heating appliances, typically of the smaller nature. Things like baseboard heaters and space heaters can catch nearby fabric or curtains on fire, even igniting the upholstery of a couch or chair.

Kerosene heaters can explode, and any heater left running while you’re away from the house is a fire hazard. Twenty-five thousand home fires happen this way every year.

Electricity and Wiring Fires

Electrical issues like short circuits cause about 10% of residential fires, and account for approximately 18% of deaths from fire. Faulty wiring or short circuits cause sparks inside walls that catch building materials on fire, and these fires can grow quickly before being noticed.

If you live in an older home, your wiring is more likely to fail. Have a professional examine it, and install any necessary upgrades or circuit protectors.


Smoking incidents, while only making up 5% of home fires, are the single most common cause of death in home fires.

Lit cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia are a dangerous ignition source, especially when people smoke in bed or otherwise fall asleep while smoking.

Chemical Fires

Fuel sources and chemicals release fumes that can ignite if they come in contact with sparks, and some can even spontaneously combust with the right mixture of oxygen and heat.

Always make sure gasoline and other chemicals are stored in approved, sealed containers.

No matter the cause, fire can be devastating to your home. Contact your local SERVPRO today to see how we can help you recover from fire damage.

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