Every single year, a significant amount of reported fires in the US occur in residential homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 27% of reported fires from 2014 to 2018 were house fires.
The majority of civilian fire deaths and injuries tend to happen in homes as well. The NFPA says that from 2014 to 2018, 77% of fire deaths and 73% of fire injuries took place in a residential dwelling.
Cooking, heating equipment, and electric devices are the most common causes of house fires across all states. Learning about house fires and investing in the necessary equipment such as smoke detectors and extinguishers can help prevent fire hazards.
Home Fires And Fire deaths
As the data from the NFPA points out, house fires cause 77% of fire deaths in the US every year. Thus, it’s possible to organize the number of fire deaths by state to get an accurate idea of the number of house fires.
The following data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The two lists have been compiled using the CDC’s data on unintentional residential fire deaths from 2000 to 2019. This data gives an approximate idea of the states with the most house fires annually.
If you live in one of these states and are worried about house fires, make sure you take the appropriate safety precautions. Learn about the most common ways fires get started and prepare for a possible fire with the right equipment.
The 10 States With the Most House Fires
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
The 10 States With the Least House Fires
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
An effective way of protecting your home from fires is by installing a smoke detector. You should make sure your smoke detector is functioning correctly by changing the batteries twice a year. In between battery replacements, check that it’s working with the test button.
Most Common Causes of House Fires
The most common causes of home fires have to do with cooking, heating, or electrical equipment. Everyday tasks that involve heating home appliances such as a stove can cause a fire. The best way to protect your family from a house fire is to prevent one from happening in the first place.
To learn about how to prevent fires in your home, start by examining your electrical appliances in the kitchen, bathroom, and even your heating elements in your living space. These are the areas of your house that present the highest risks.
According to the NFPA, 49% of house fires in the US are started while cooking. This is, by far, more than the number of fires started by heating or electrical equipment.
Also, according to the NFPA, about 44% of home fires start in the kitchen. All house fires begin in three main areas: the kitchen, the bedrooms, and the living room. Some of the most common objects that can cause fires are gas stoves, ovens, toasters, and matches.
Many fires start with the stove because of the open flame. When using a gas stove, make sure there are no flammable objects nearby. Also, be sure you turn your gas stove off properly as soon as you’re done using it. Gas can continue coming out of the burners without them being lit if they’re not properly switched off, presenting a major safety hazard for your home and your health.
Ovens cause a significant amount of home fires because of the high heat they produce. Ensure there aren’t any flammable objects on or next to the oven when using this home appliance. Nothing flammable should be stored underneath an oven.
One of the most common mistakes that cause house fires has to do with broiler drawers underneath stoves. You shouldn’t store pans or other kitchen appliances in them. People often store pans with hot pads or towels in broiler drawers, and when they turn on the oven, they catch on fire.
If a toaster isn’t working correctly and doesn’t pop the toast when finished, that piece of toast could catch fire. When you’re done with your toaster, always unplug it.
- Matches and lighters
Make sure you are educating your kids on the dangers of using matches and fires. Keep these objects out of their reach.
According to the NFPA, accidents with heating appliances are the second leading cause of house fires in the US. They cause 14% of all house fires in the country. Space heaters or baseboard heaters cause fires when fabrics or flammable material are left too close to them.
Heaters that use fuel, such as kerosene heaters, are hazardous because they can ignite or blow up. Electrical heaters can also cause fires, and accidents often happen if the wires aren’t in good condition. Ensure you always read the instructions when purchasing a new heater and perform necessary maintenance on it as the manufacturer recommends.
Electrical And Lighting Equipment
Electrical equipment causes 10% of home fires in the United States, according to the NFPA. Most of the accidents have to do with electrical devices or wires that start in the bedroom or the living room. Any electrical device that isn’t in good condition can potentially start a fire.
Dryers are also one of the significant home appliances that cause fires. You should regularly clean dryer vents and lint traps. Dryers get extremely hot, and the lint can easily catch on fire with a small spark. Many people keep their dryers in the basement, and a basement fire can be challenging to control.
Final Tips on Preventing Home Fires
In addition to home appliances that don’t function properly, many fires start because people misuse or forget to turn off appliances before leaving the house. Any heat source in your home, like a space heater, candle, curling iron, or oven, should be shut off before you leave the premises. By remaining vigilant, you can ensure your home does not become a national statistic.