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Posted by on Oct 10, 2017 in Firefighting methods |

Most Common Causes of Fatal Fires

For most individuals, a home is a source of stability in life, serving as an environment in which to spend time with our loved ones and entertain guests. However, the National Fire Protection Agency estimates that in regards to all fires that occur inside a structure, ninety percent of these occur in a home, this translates to about three thousand civilian fatalities annually.

But what exactly leads to these fatal fires? This is a question unanswered up to date. Well, here are some of the causes that lead to fire becoming destructive as well as life threatening.

Causes of fires in homes

  1. Children

A small kid, say, 7-10 years is home alone. On the table with him is a matchbox. As we all know kids are curious beings. They will light a match and watch what it can possibly burn, just to satisfy their curiosity. Consequently, they end up lighting something like a paper on the table which will spread to the sofa and before you know it, the whole house is on fire. To avoid this, matchsticks and matchboxes should be kept as far away as possible from them.

  1. Cigarette smoking

Smoking cigarettes is also one of the major causes of fire. Once one is done smoking, he/she forgets to put off the cigarette completely and hence, the cigarette lights up something flammable like the tablecloth then the table and then every other thing in the house will catch fire. Smokers should therefore be extremely careful when smoking in the house. They should make sure they completely put off the cigarette and dispose off the cigarette butts in the right places.

  1. Cooking

Did you know that cooking is ranked as the leading cause of fire in the home? Well, you may be going about your cooking in the kitchen as well as holding a conversation with friends in the living room. It is said that serving two masters at the same time will have one master overpower the other. In this case, the conversation with friends gets too interesting to a point of forgetting the cooking taking place in the kitchen and soon, everything in the kitchen area catches fire and it spreads to the other rooms in the house.

  1. Extension cords

Never use an extension cord as a long-term solution for your electricity needs. A much safer alternative is to hire an electrician to install additional electrical receptacles. The results will be that it will be safer and much more convenient.

  1. Faulty home appliances

Inspect your appliances regularly to ensure they’re still in proper working condition. Pay close attention to plugs and power cords. If they’re bent or frayed, stop using the appliance immediately and discard responsibly.

  1. Candles

Candles look small and pretty but if left unattended, can easily cause a room to burn in flames. They should be kept away from flammable things like books and clothes.

  1. Barbecue

Barbecues are great for an outdoor meal but should be kept far away from the house. This is because, wind blows uncontrollably and if the barbecue is next to the house, it will easily light up the house and since there is wind outside, the fire will spread very fast.

Causes of fires at work places

  1. Faulty electrics

Loose wires and overloaded plugs are death traps at work. This comes hand in hand with negligence and human error, for instance, spilling liquids into electrical equipment. Extra care should be taken when dealing with electronic equipment. Every person working should be well informed on the do’s and don’ts of electric equipment.

  1. Flammable liquids

Most workplaces have flammable liquids and once these liquids sense just a little fire, become a disaster that is sometimes almost impossible to avert. Flammable liquids should be kept as far away as possible from places that fire is often is used.

Causes of fires in schools

  1. Students and staff

Fire in school in most cases is started intentionally by the students or even staff. These fires are usually unpredicted and are started in trash cans or piles of garbage since they are the easiest to light. A fire can also be started in the laboratory when there is use of equipment like the Bunsen burner. As such, there should be close monitoring of students in school and precautions taken immediately in case of any suspicious activity noticed.

Other causes of fires

  1. Camping

Camping is a fun activity but can also be disastrous if extra care is not taken. During the night, campers tend to light up fire to keep warm. If the fire is not well put out or is left unattended, it can spread wildly and uncontrollably. This leads to massive destruction of the environment and even loss of lives. While camping, caution should be taken when lighting a fire, campers should ensure they totally put off the fire and never leave it unattended to.

  1. Car fires

These fires occur when there is a mechanical error, oil or fuel leak and less often by an accident. Once car owners have taken their cars for repair, they should double check the cars before driving off, for the sake of their safety.


Those are just a few causes of fire. Basically, as seen above most fire outbreaks are caused at home. Safety starts with you, so it’s up to you to ensure you take extra caution when handling fire. Fire related incidents are potentially devastating, but fortunately they’re easy to prevent, especially if you are aware of the most common fire hazards and take steps to combat them