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John Maxoutopoulis

Common Causes of House Fires

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are an average of 365,000 house fires per year that require an emergency response. Overall, an average of about 2,500 people in America die from house fires per year. While your home can be restored from a fire, the human loss from such a tragedy can not be undone. The sad fact is that many of these house fires could have been prevented. Below are the five most common house fire causes and how they can be prevented.

Cooking Equipment
The house is a busy environment and many house fires are caused in the kitchen by unattended cooking equipment. To prevent kitchen fires, it is important to have at least one person, in the kitchen at all times, attending to cooking food. Also, check to make sure all cooking equipment is turned off after cooking.

Heating Equipment
Portable heaters have causes thousands of fires during the cold winter months. The biggest reason for these types of fires are the heater's proximity to flammable items in the home. To prevent a fire from a portable heater, keep the device at least one meter from laundry, clothes, curtains and other objects.

Smoking in the Bedroom
They say that smoking kills. Sadly, this fact extends to house fires. In fact, 73% of all house fatalities are caused by fires started in the bedroom or the lounge area. It is important that people avoid smoking in their bedroom. This is to prevent an unattended cigarette causing a fire if the person falls asleep.

Electrical Equipment
Electrical fires are one of the most dangerous house fires one can encounter. Electrical equipment such as a toaster can start a fire if that piece of equipment has a faulty or frayed cord. Therefore, it is important that the homeowner inspect all of the electrical equipment around the house. If there is an old piece of electrical equipment or an electrical appliance with questionable wires or parts, unplug it and get rid of that item immediately.

Candles may make a nice alternative to traditional lights. However, these items can easily cause of a fire if they are left unattended. Therefore, it is important for the homeowner to keep a careful eye on their candles and ensure that all of them are extinguished before going to sleep.


House fires can not only destroy your most important investment, they can also cause serious injury and death. While it is possible to restore parts of a home destroyed by fire, it is better to not have a fire happen at all. You can prevent most house fire causes by following a few simple steps - mind electrical equipment, watch for any open flames, and make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher in the home. Additionally, inspect your fire alarms every six months to ensure that they are in proper working order. While no home is completely fire proof, common sense can prevent most fires in the first place.

John Maxoutopoulis

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