What Are The Common Causes Of Home Fires?

What are the common causes of home fires? List of the most common causes of fires in the home, with safety tips and ways family can prevent fires. Fire safety in a home has always been a huge problem for...

Fire safety in a home has always been a huge problem for consumers. The biggest issue is that most of the time, we as consumers think our home or apartment is completely fire safe. But as we take a deeper look into our home surroundings, even the most careful of persons might find a potential fire hazard.


With over 18 years as a Fire Marshall in Georgetown, Texas, Dan Jansen is an expert in the world of fire safety. During his tenure as a Fire Marshall, Jansen has dealt primarily with fire education, safety and prevention. Jansen said that fires are caused primarily by consumers and homeowners being careless when it comes to dealing with potential hazardous situations. Jansen also said that the most common causes of home fires today usually have to deal with extension cords, heaters and curious children.




"One of the most common fire causing elements is the use of an extension cord in place of permanent wiring," he said. "Most people are not aware of this danger. People will take extension cords, and they will plug multiple devices into them for long periods of time. Extension cords are designed for temporary use. I have seen something as minor as a small transformer, that works the air compressor for an aquarium, be enough to short out an extension cord."

"The extension cords are the worst because they are very small cheap .79-.99 cent extension cords," he added. "I mean, if it's not about as big around as your little finger, you probably shouldn't use it. Go with a good heavy extension cord if you're going to use one."

"One of the other very common causes is the accessibility of matches and lighters to small children," Jansen said. "We have an ungodly amount of fires attributed to curiosity. There are children, under the age of six predominantly, who are curious about fire. They will go into bedrooms and closets, and they are fascinated by the fire. They don't understand what they're doing. They hide under their bed, and start fires in these areas that are extremely hard to put fires out quickly. It is a horrible problem, but we, as adults, are not being cautious enough. We're leaving things out for these children to get heir hands on."

"The most common thing to avoid is the placement of electric heaters and open flame heaters too close to combustibles," Jansen said. "There are a lot of people who have to rely on non-vented open flame heaters, and they place them in their bedroom. Of course, you don't want to be cold at night. Things get kicked off a bed, and someone may get up."

"I have seen a fatality where an elderly person walked too close, caught her nightgown on it, and it caught on fire," he said. "It's tragic that things like this happen. Things can fall off or fall on top of open flame devices and electric heaters. Just avoid irresponsible placement of those devices."

"You can put these devices on a wall away from where you are going to be sleeping," he continued to say. "Avoid a high travel area. Keep it away from any combustibles; you want to try to keep it at least two feet away from any other item in your house."

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