Causes of Fires in the Home

Carelessness is the leading cause of household fires.  Does your home pass this checklist?

  1. Chimney Fire - can break out when too hot a fire is kindled in the furnace.
  2. Attic Fire - can start when an overheated chimney ignites materials stored in an attic.
  3. Fire can blaze up in paint cans - if they are stored in warm basements. 
  4. Fire From Hot Ashes - can flare up when they are stored in an improper container.
  5. Fire on a Workbench - can start if a connected soldering iron or wood burning tip is left untended. 
  6. Fire in a Closet - can begin when overloaded fuse box ignites clothes or rags.
  7. Fire in Waste Paper - can begin if trash is stored carelessly in a basement.
  8. Fire from Poor Wiring - in an appliance or wall can quickly spread to nearby curtains.
  9. Fire in a Chair - can start when a careless smoker drops hot ashes. 
  10. Flashback Fire - starts when cleaning fluid fumes from a sink reach the furnace.
  11. Closet Fires - can start when spontaneous combustion sets rags or mops on fire.
  12. Fire in a Grease pan or Deep Fryer - on a stove can ignite nearby curtains.
  13. Fire in a Wastebasket - can flare up if hot cigarette ashes are emptied into it. 
  14. Curtains or Furniture Can be Set Ablaze - by a child playing with matches. 
  15. Fire in Bedding - can happen when a careless smoker falls asleep in bed.

Information about Home Fire Escape Planning

Children as young as three years old can follow a fire escape plan they have practiced often.  Yet, many families don't have detailed escape plans, and those that do usually don't practice them.

Practicing a fire escape plan and fire-safe behaviors on a regular can mean the difference between life and death.

Draw a basic diagram of your home, marking all windows and doors, and plan two routes of escape out of each room. Consider various fire scenarios when creating your plan and develop actions for a safe escape. Plan for each member of your family, including babies and toddlers who may be unable to escape on their own.

Keep exits clear of debris and toys.

Keep your child's bedroom door closed. If a hallway fire occurs, a closed door may hinder the smoke from overpowering your baby or toddler, giving firefighters extra time for rescue.

Teach toddlers not to hide from firefighters. Their uniforms can be scary in times of crisis. Teach children that firefighters are there to help in an emergency. Take children for a tour at your local fire station so that they can see a firefighter in full gear.

Teach your children how to crawl under the smoke to reduce smoke inhalation.

Also, teach your children how to touch closed doors to see if they are hot before opening. If so, use an alternate escape route.

Have a safe meeting place outside the home and teach children never to go back inside.

Practicing fire-safe behaviors and knowing what to do in an emergency can give your family extra seconds to escape.