Major Causes of Fires

Fire protection doesn’t have to be difficult. Even the simplest things can help save you and your family from a home fire.

Accidents and Carelessness

Many people believe that if they are careful they are much less likely to have a fire. While it is true that being careful will make you safer it will not stop fire from happening. Most fires are not caused from carelessness. They are caused from every day living that is almost impossible for us to change.

Electrical Wiring, Electrical Outlets and Faulty Wiring

Whether it’s in an electrical outlet or a short in the wall, many fires are caused by electrical wiring. Older homes are particularly susceptible, as they were not wired for the many, many appliances that we have filled our homes with. Many homes that were built in the 50′s -70′s have aluminum wiring that gets very hot and increases the chance of fire.


Lamps, toasters and even baby monitors can short out. Be particularly careful with older appliances and extension cords. Even new appliances can be the source of a home fire. To be safe, appliances should be unplugged when not in use. Unfortunately, not all appliances can be unplugged, leaving your home at risk 24 hours a day.


Heating is another major cause of residential fire deaths. This is especially true in southeastern states and among wood stove users in the north.

Unattended Stoves

Another cause of residential fires is cooking, but not due to defective stoves or ovens. Often, it is because of unattended pots or the burner being left on accidentally -and who hasn’t done that at least once or twice?

Children Playing with Matches

Children and grandchildren playing with matches are a major source of home fires. According to the Burn Awareness Coalition, burns are the number one cause of accidental deaths in children under two, fire and burn injuries are the second leading cause of accidental deaths in children ages 1-4, and the third leading cause of injury and death for ages 1-18. Matches and lighters in the hands of young children are a significant factor in fire fatalities. Educating parents and grandparents to the seriousness of this issue is paramount.