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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Do You Know the 5 Leading Causes of House Fires? | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

a firefighter battling a fire with a water hose in hand Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of Alamo Heights are here for you if your home is affected by fire.

Homeowners can face numerous challenges from potential disasters around their homes. One of the most frightening scenarios for any homeowner is a fire.

Fires are unpredictable—they seemingly start out of nowhere, spread quickly, and cause massive devastation. Obviously, homeowners go to great lengths to avoid fires.

But despite all of the awareness campaigns, more than a quarter of all reported fires still occur in homes.

What are the top causes of fires in the home? Let’s take a look and see if we can reduce the number of fire incidents through information and education.

Cooking. Want to avoid a house fire? Never leave your cooking unattended! This is by far the top cause of home fires and injuries (but interestingly, not casualties). Almost half of all home fires start in the kitchen, and the reason is unattended cooking. The biggest thing you can do to avoid a fire at home? Stay at the stove or grill while your food is being prepared and never leave it unattended.

Heating equipment. Though not nearly as prevalent here in Alamo Heights, 14% of all home fires nationally are started because of heating equipment. It’s a combination of equipment malfunctions and mishaps, but the leading cause is flammable materials placed too close to heaters and portable space heaters are the top culprit.

Electrical fires. Typically, electrical wires have a life expectancy of 50 to 70 years. That’s why homes older than 50 years should have an electrical inspection to determine the fitness of the wiring. Over time, the insulation will become dry and brittle and the opportunity for wires to touch increases, thus increasing the risk of fire. Overloading of circuits and a higher usage of electricity than older homes can handle are all factors that contribute to electrical fires at home. No matter the age of the home, never use frayed or faulty outlets.

Intentional fires. Intentional homes fires come in at No. 4 on the list. Believe it or not, there are more than 28,000 intentional home fires started every year. By intentional, we mean fires begun deliberately, with the intention of setting the home structures ablaze.

Smoking materials. The Surgeon General’s public awareness campaign about the hazards of smoking has led to a 65% decrease in smoking over the last 50 years. Unfortunately, and despite only being responsible for 5% of home fire occurrences, fires started by smoking materials are the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. These often start because as people fall asleep and cigarettes or ashes are left burning. And that makes victims more susceptible.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.

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