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Fire Damage 101: Causes, Tips, and Prevention


You know what they say: prevention is better than cure, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. These notions can be heavily applied to fire accidents and fire damage.

It is possible to prevent fires by first determining what causes them. In case you didn’t know, burning candles, cooking in the kitchen, electrical problems, lighting a cigarette (smoking), and using home heaters are the five activities that cause the most fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Read on to discover more about fire damage, and its common causes, as well as tips and prevention techniques you can practice today.

Burning Candles

According to the NFPA, candles started 7,400 residential fires in the United States each year  from 2015 to 2019. Each year, these flames claimed the lives of 90 people and injured 670 others. During the course of an average day, twenty candle flames are lit.

Keep an eye on any lit candles at all times. Every time the wick is used, some of its lengths should be cut down, and nothing should be left around it. Keep candles extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room, and keep reminders handy.

Cooking in the Kitchen

According to the NFPA, cooking was the cause of 49% of home fires, 20% of home fire deaths, and 42% of home fire injuries between 2015 and 2019. It is to blame for the vast majority of residential structure fires. Cooking fires are most common over the holiday season.

Cooking was the leading cause of the majority of residential building fires between 2013 and 2017. The chief causes of these fires are unattended cooking, open flames, and spillage. If no one is present to put out the fire, it is probable that it will spread quickly.

If you are drowsy or under the influence of alcohol, do not use the burner or cook. It’s critical to pay attention while cooking, so set a timer or an alarm. It is hazardous to use paper towels, oven mitts, or wooden utensils near a hot stove.

Electrical Problems

Incorrect wiring is another major cause of home fires. Lights that flicker, lights that dim when appliances are turned on, or sparks flowing from an outlet could all be symptoms of a wiring problem.

Make sure that all of the appliances are switched off before you leave the house. Even if your uncle is anxious to help you with electrical repairs, you should never utilize faulty sockets and instead, always hire a professional.

Lighting a Cigarette and Smoking

Cigarettes and lighters, in a similar vein, have the ability to cause flames. Nonsmokers account for one out of every four victims in fires involving smoking materials. Even a cigarette dropped by accident can spark a fire in the house. 

If you wish to avoid fires caused by cigarettes, stop smoking. If this is not an option, go outside or smoke non-combustible cigarettes. Also, never leave charging smoking equipment unattended.

Using Home Heaters

According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2014 and 2018, local fire departments responded to an average of 48,530 heating-related fires. This accounts for 14% of all reported residential fires during this time period, with an annual toll of 500 civilian deaths and 1,350 civilian injuries.

The most prevalent generator of flames in enclosed places is heaters. Space heaters, unlike fireplaces and furnaces, have the ability to ignite flammable objects if placed too close to them. Fireplaces and space heaters cause a greater number of heating-equipment fires than furnaces.

Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from any hot appliance. Annual inspection and cleaning of chimneys and other heating equipment is required.


While we all love to light scented candles, cook in our kitchens, and keep our homes heated, we must put our safety first. Now that you know what you can do to prevent fire accidents, you can effectively keep yourself and your family safe, even through all the cooking sessions for the holidays!

Are you in need of fire damage restoration services in Marco Island? DryZone is here to be on your side after a devastating fire accident. Please call us at (239) 360-5207 today!

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