What are the most common causes of fire? And how to avoid them?

Nowadays fire at the workplace or house is the major cause of concern. If avoided it can cause a major threat to the people around and also the property. The fire can ignite tremendously and result in some major and terrifying consequences. As we know fire can spread within a matter of a few seconds and can destroy everything and everyone.

Even a small spark of fire is enough to lead to the great destruction of property. It can also result in thousands of dollars of damage. Financial losses can be managed but the loss of someone’s life cannot be recovered ever and hence it is necessary to have proper education about the causes of fire and the prevention of fire. While having an insurance policy can help you deal with the financial losses caused due to fire, having the required knowledge on how to prevent your property from fire is also important because as we know precaution is better than cure.

You can check for the potential risks that can cause the fire and try to avoid or eliminate them. Also, you can make a plan to escape in the unpredictable situation wherein the fire is caused. Having a proper plan to escape in such a situation can help you overcome the losses and also save your and others’ lives.

Now, let us understand the causes of house fire and how we can avoid them.

  1. Heating Appliances

Heating Appliances can easily cause fire at any time and hence needs to be properly supervised. As per the NFPA(National Fire Protection Association)  reports it is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries and the third leading cause of property damage and home fire deaths. It is advised not to leave the house if the heater is on because, in most of the cases where fire has been caused, the primary reason is the heaters were kept running while no one was present at the place.

If you have a space heater you need to keep in mind to keep the materials that are flammable away from it. The fuel heaters need to be taken care especially because they can ignite easily if unsupervised. The other type of heaters are electrical heaters, these types of heaters can cause fires if the draperies or other fabrics overheat or if the electrical wiring is faulty. There is a need to read the instructions and also follow them for any heating appliance if you do not want it to cause fire by any means. Also, you need to check the condition of the heating appliance regularly if it is working or needs maintenance so that it is in good condition to be used.

  • Cooking

The fire caused during cooking is the most common thing you will see in today’s world. Most people leave the kitchen unsupervised and do their other chores not realizing that this can lead them to a serious problem. The risk is not only the food burning but also the property causing fire and most importantly even losing someone’s life.

Kitchen equipment that tends to overheat can cause fire easily. The fire needs only a few seconds to spread and then you will see flames all around hence it is necessary for you to be keen when you are cooking the food in the kitchen. You need to keep the dish towels, paper towels, oven mitts, etc away from the cooking appliances like a stove. Avoid leaving portable cooking equipment such as the electrical griddle unattended. Also, keep the Toaster free of bread crumbs build up inside it as it can ignite a fire.

If it is a small fire that is manageable then there is no need to worry but if you notice that there is a possibility of serious fires then immediately take the help of the fire department. Avoid taking risks if the fire is spreading rapidly all over the place instead work smartly and save the area from destruction.

  • Electrical

One of the leading causes of the fire taking place at the workplace or home is electrical equipment. As per EFSI (Electrical Safety Foundation International), due to electrical faults around 500 deaths and 1400 injuries has occurred each year. The reasons for this can be many like faulty electrical connections, loose wires, poor installation of electrical appliances, overheated and old wires, short circuits, and so on.

High electricity can be a major reason for the potential fire hazard and hence the electrical equipment needs to be unplugged or disconnected when not in use, replacing the old and damaged wires, keeping a regular check of the electrical systems so that it is in good and working condition. Ensure that the wires are been checked by the electrician and you don’t do it yourself especially if the house or office is old.

You can also prefer using smoke detectors at your property so that there is less chance of fire taking place in that area. Also, make sure you check the smoke detector batteries and replace them if needed. This will ultimately keep you safe from any fire hazards taking place due to electrical appliances.

  • Smoking

Smoking is another cause of very bad fires that can occur at your residence. As we know smoking is injurious to health but apart from that it can also lead to fires wherein you can damage property, as well as others’ lives too along with yours. If you just drop the cigarette butts intentionally or unintentionally on the furniture, cloth, or any other flammable material it is likely to ignite fire easily.

As per NFPA, a fire caused due to smoking materials has resulted in many deaths and injuries for decades. These kinds of fires which are caused due to smoking are one of the most dangerous ones because they ignite while the resident is asleep.

Smoking on the bed has to be avoided at any cost as the mattresses are highly flammable and catch fire instantly. Even the blankets, clothes, and other materials have the tendency to catch the fire and lead to the destruction of the property. Hence, if you have the urge to smoke you need to go outside in the smoking area to smoke and keep the remaining’s in the ashtray to avoid fire risks.

  • Chemical

Chemical fires are mostly caused in industrial locations but residential chemical fires are also common nowadays. Chemical fires can occur if the chemicals come in direct contact with an open flame or heat source, or via spontaneous combustion, wherein the chemicals combine with oxygen and produce a lot of heat for ignition.

There can be another cause of chemical fires as well when the oily rags heat up. If you store the oil-soaked or chemical-soaked rags after using them they can come in contact with oxygen and heat up spontaneously which can cause a fire. Hence oily rags need to be dried up to evaporate the oil and then need to be washed before reusing them. Keep these oil rags or flammable liquids in a different location away from living spaces.

Most of the chemicals including gasoline are flammable and if not used with precaution can cause an intense fire. Hence these chemicals need to be stored in their original containers and away from the other chemicals which can cause flames and also from heat, electrical sources, etc. Make sure that the containers are properly sealed so that there is no leakage.

  • Candles

Candles need to be used with caution because slight negligence while using them can cause big fires if they come in contact with flammable materials. Apart from candles, the lighters ad matches used to light candles are equally dangerous if left unsupervised in a random location where small children can reach them. Children can easily misuse such things and in no time destroy everything around them.

It’s always advised to keep lighters, matches, or candles in a safe place away from children’s reach. Candles are been used for many occasions like for example Christmas, New year, etc and it’s completely fine to use them but make sure to extinguish them before you leave the place. Most of the fires that have taken place due to candles are during Christmas and new year’s eve.

A great way to reduce the risk of causing fire due to candles is to trim the wick of the candle so the flame is smaller. You can also make use of other battery-operated luminaries free of flame to reduce the risk of fire.

  • Faulty Wiring

Another major cause of the fire is due to faulty wiring. If you see the lights getting dim while you are using any home appliance or for an appliance to work if you have to disconnect another appliance, it is a sign of faulty wiring. Apart from that if you notice fuses blowing or tripping the circuit often then it is also a sign of faulty wiring.

If you notice any such thing in your residential area then you should stop using the appliance immediately. There is a possibility that this faulty wiring can cause a fire in no time and spread all over the place if it comes in contact with any flammable material. The best thing to do when you realize the main cause is that you can contact a licensed electrician and let him inspect the wiring at your home or contact the concerned person to arrange the correct person so that the issue does not occur again.

  • Barbeques

Barbeque parties are so common these days, but you need to be careful while using the grill. Barbeque grills are also one of the causes of the fire incidents taking place. There are comparatively lesser chances of fires caused due to Barbeque grills but it is always better to be vigilant while using the grill. Being cautious while using such appliances can help you be safer.

If you are planning for an outdoor Barbeque party, make sure that the gas bottles do not have any leaks and clean them after use. Also, ensure to dispose of the fire before leaving. See that your grill is properly maintained and cleaned to reduce the risk of fire incidents. Try to keep the table cloths and other flammable materials away from the barbeque grill.

  • Christmas Trees

Christmas is one of the most celebrated festivals around the world. Christmas trees are decorated and it creates a beautiful environment inside the house or even at the workplace, but do you know that Christmas trees are also one of the causes of fires?

Although the causes of Christmas tree fires are fewer still there are many dangerous fires taking place due to Christmas trees which have also resulted in deaths. A small spark of lights on the tree can set the tree on fire and within a few seconds can set the entire room on fire. As per NFPA, around 160 cases of fires are reported per year in the U.S due to Christmas trees.

You can make use of artificial trees made of plastic needles for safety purposes. Try to avoid leaving the lights on the Christmas trees while you are not around or sleeping. Some bulbs can create a lot of heat which can ultimately result in fire, make sure that the bulbs don’t get heated up and are cooler. If you notice the bulbs are hot then turn it off for some time unless it gets cool. Keep an eye on the Christmas tree so that if you notice any spark on it due to the lights then you can take an action. Try to use LED bulbs which are comparatively cooler.


It is necessary to know about fire prevention because only if you have the knowledge, you can prevent yourself from loss of property and life while doing a house contraction. Losing something you love can have a great impact on you and hence realizing the probabilities that can cause the fire and how to avoid it can help you to a greater extent. A lot of property has been lost around the world due to fire, people have also lost their lives due to mere negligence. Take precautionary measures in order to avoid such circumstances. BricknBolt also make use of safety tools that can prevent you from such losses while house construction.