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The Most Common Causes of House Fires

The Most Common Causes of House Fires

A house fire can be sustained if heat, fuel, and oxygen are present. Fire can destroy your entire home in minutes. Smoke and toxic gas are deadly if inhaled.

You need to ensure you exit the danger and never re-enter in the case of a fire.

It is best to be aware of the fire hazards and how to avoid them. Below are the most common causes of house fires.

Faulty Wiring

Have your home inspected by a professional if you notice dimming lights or a fuse that blows easily. It is not usual to have lights dimming when you use two appliances at a time.

Electrical sockets may malfunction and should be a cause for concern. Faulty receptacles that sometimes don’t work, and are hot to the touch are high risk.

Occasional inspection is ideal as it will ensure that your home electrical system is up to a standard.


Cooking accidents are one of the most common reasons behind a house fire. We all know it’s important to be careful cooking but unfortunately, distractions happen.

Leaving a pan of oil unattended is a common theme in our customer feedback during fire repair assessment visits. Oil can become too hot and will start smoking after a few seconds and burst into flames after.

People panic and forget to use their fire blanket or fire extinguisher. Instead, they decide to use water which can cause the flames to spread.

Never leave your cooking unattended or have someone watch over your cooking if you need to stay away for a few minutes.

Even with the utmost care, accidents can happen, so it is best to be prepared by having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or anywhere nearby.


Another common cause of house fires is cigarettes. A cigarette butt can stay lit for an hour or so and can get in contact with flammable materials such as furniture, curtains, books, magazines, or carpets.

Cigarette fires are common when people fall asleep while smoking and the cigarette drops on the carpet or the furniture, this will catch fire immediately.

Smoking in the garage is also a no-no cause there are too many flammable items in the garage.

Make sure the cigarette is extinguished before tossing it in the rubbish can, and likewise, avoid smoking when feeling sleepy or if you’re partial to a cigarette after a night out.


Open flames such as candles are potential fire hazards. Many people use candles cause it gives off relaxing scents and beautiful to look at, but if incorrectly handled may start a fire in your home.

Keeping candles away from ignitable objects is crucial. Most of the time, candles can start a home fire because of the flammable materials near them.

Blow the candles off before leaving the room or before you sleep. When you are using candles and even if you are awake, ensure that you have placed them on heat-resistant surfaces and keep them away from pets and children.

Children and Fire

Some kids get curious about fire and may play with lighters and matches to try it. They may even imitate adults lighting a match and igniting some papers because they are curious about the result.

The outcome may be life-threatening if they are not taught not to play with fire.

Children usually play with fire in the bedroom or garage out of sight of their parents. There are flammable materials in these areas. Kids should be educated from a young age on the danger of fire.

The blame shouldn’t solely fall on the curiosity of kids. As parents, we should ensure we don’t leave lighters, matches or flammable substances out in the open.

Extension Cords

Most extension cords have a label for their capacity and how many appliances may be used with them. Overloading the extension cords is an accident waiting to happen. Continuous use of extension cord and overloading it can cause home fires. Using extension cords for large devices such as the fridge and other appliances is not advised.

It must not be covered with a rug or carpet so that the heat can escape and the extension is visible that any untoward incident is immediately noticeable.

Frayed wirings can start the extension cord to short circuit and overheat.

Unattended Charging Devices

Charging mobile devices overnight or while you are sleeping has the potential to cause a home fire. When the charging device is left unattended for a certain period, this can also be potentially dangerous. Some chargers are poorly made and are not up to a standard set to prevent them from overheating.

When left on top of the bed or under a pillow, these chargers can generate heat, and since it is in contact with flammable materials, it can easily catch fire.

Christmas Lights

Christmas trees are often used during holidays, as it is a tradition for most families. Christmas lights can generate heat, particularly incandescent bulbs. Christmas trees such as evergreen trees can dry out during the holiday season, and a spark can set it aflame in seconds.

There are lightings used in different house areas, and it should not be left unattended overnight where it is near draperies, curtains, and carpets as these can easily catch fire in seconds.

Newer Christmas tree lights are safer to use as they are made of LED bulbs that do not generate as much heat.

Upgrading your lights for €20 is a lot less expensive than repairing your fire-damaged house.


Grilling sumptuous food may be fun for the family, but it can also cause home fires when heat and flames from the grill are near combustible materials. A grease fire can also generate extreme heat, and when doubled with the wind, flames can be dangerous.

Grilling in a well-ventilated area is ideal. Placing the grill in an enclosed porch or near hanging branches must be avoided.

Refrain from leaving the grill unattended when there are kids around.

A Small bit of Advice from

Installing fire preventive measures is crucial for homeowners. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are just some fire preventive devices that will help homeowners avoid being a victim of home fires.

If you don’t have a fire extinguisher buy one. They could save lives and save your home.

Have fire blankets in arms reach of your hob.

The main thing is to be aware of the dangers that can happen. Educate your family or housemates on potential threats in the home. Being educated and knowing what to do could save you and your family’s life.

We also have a blog on how to prevent fire damage in the home which is very helpful.

If you need any fire damage services then contact us today and we can help you restore your house to its former beautiful state.


Below is an infographic visualising the most common causes of house fires.

The Most Common Causes of House FiresThe Most Common Causes of House Fires

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Download Your Complete Fire Safety Guide


To help insurance professionals we’ve created a complete fire safety guide that outlines the most common causes of houses fires, fire prevention in the home and the steps people need to take after a house fire has occurred.

This guide will be useful to share with your colleagues and customers who have experienced or are worried about fire’s at home. are a fire damage repair and restoration service operating Nationwide.

We have a wealth of experience in dealing with property fire damage restoration.

We can work directly with the insurance sector to help alleviate the often stressful process of bringing your fire damaged home back to its pre-loss condition.

This guide includes:

  • The Most Common Causes of Houses
  • Fire Damage Prevention in the Home
  • Steps to Take After a House Fire
  • What do fire restoration companies do

Tersus Fire Guide

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