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Top 5 Causes of House Fires

Nearly 400,000 house fires are reported to US fire departments every year, resulting in an average of 2,740 civilian deaths, 11,670 civilian injuries, and $7.3 billion in property damage. Learn about the five most common causes of house fires so you can take steps to keep your home and family safe during Fire Prevention Week, which takes place October 6-12, 2019.

Cooking

Nearly half of all home fires ignite in the kitchen. Prevent cooking fires with these tips:

  • Never leave the house while burners or the oven are on.
  • Remain in the kitchen while food is simmering, baking, or roasting.
  • Use a timer to remind you when the food is done cooking.
  • Keep items that can catch fire—including potholders, wooden utensils, food packaging, paper towels, clothing, and hair—away from hot cooking surfaces at all times.

Heating Equipment

Space heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and other heating equipment cause 15 percent of all house fires. Keep your home and family safe with these tips:

  • Maintain a three-foot radius around all types of heating equipment.
  • Set up a sturdy spark screen in front of your fireplace.
  • Never use the oven to heat your home.
  • Schedule professional heating equipment maintenance and chimney cleaning once a year.

Electrical Systems

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment account for 10 percent of all residential fires in the US. Be cautious when using your home’s electrical system by following these tips:

  • Hire an electrician to perform all electrical repairs and upgrades.
  • Only plug one heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time.
  • Plug all major appliances directly into the wall rather than using an extension cord.
  • Never run power cords under furniture or rugs.
  • Don’t use appliances with fraying cords or outlets that feel hot.

Smoking

Five percent of home fires are started by smoking materials. If you smoke, follow these tips:

  • Never smoke while lying in bed.
  • Store cigarettes, lighters, and matches in a locked cabinet.
  • Douse cigarette butts with water or sand before disposing of them in a deep, sturdy ashtray.

Candles

While they’re beautiful and calming, candles are responsible for 2 percent of home structure fires in the US. Here’s how to help prevent an incident:

  • Keep candles at least one foot from anything flammable.
  • Blow out candles before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Don’t burn candles for longer than four hours at a time.
  • Never leave children or pets unattended with lit candles.

Understanding what causes fires and how to prevent them is the best way to protect your home and family from a destructive blaze. Still, if a fire breaks out, all hope is not lost. DKI Services can help restore your home to its original condition. Our team specializes in smoke and odor removal, structural cleaning and repair, and contents restoration. To learn more about recovering from a house fire, or to request our services, please contact us today.