Our Analysis of the Top Causes of House Fires
The loss of a loved one, a major injury or moving home are the most stressful events to affect someone in their life. Major house fires can force you to relocate and rebuild completely.
Fire can also cause life-changing injuries, psychological trauma and loss of life.
Our company was formed to protect families, workers and members of the public in general from the devastation of preventable or controllable fires. In this article, we’ll provide professional advice on the most common fire hazards in an average home – and help to advise on prevention measures.
For help and support in understanding risk in your home, or to discuss our cutting-edge fire prevention systems, please click this link to contact us.
THE most common – and easily the biggest cause of house fires – accounting for almost half of all preventable home fires in 2019/2020. Misuse, neglect, or accidents involving cooking appliances – either by way of an open flame or overheating/burning foods or cooking oil.
Despite numerous education campaigns, many people make the dangerous mistake of trying to throw water onto burning oil. This causes a violent reaction which can turn a minor kitchen fire into a major incident. Many fire deaths have occurred when an easily controllable fire has quickly gotten out of control.
How to prevent serious incidents when cooking?
- Keep an eye on your food! By properly supervising any cooking appliance, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of a fire (or being forced to order takeaway due to a burnt lasagne).
- Consider mounting a small home fire extinguisher or fire blanket near your appliances. Look for BS EN3 approved wet chemical extinguishers. These are available from several retailers and will give you a safe option to control an oil fire if it occurs.
- Smoke alarms should be tested once a month, (for extra safety, consider a monoxide alarm in each room too).
DID YOU KNOW? A professionally installed residential fire suppression system from RAD would be able to isolate a fire within the home – ensuring minimal damage to other rooms?
Electric fires are the next most common cause of house fires. Faulty space heaters, tumble dryers or even Christmas tree lights have caused devastation to homes across the UK for decades.
How do you prevent electrical appliance fires from starting (or spreading)?
PAT testing. For a reasonable yearly fee, a professional ‘portable appliance tester’ would visit your home and carry out a visual safety inspection. They would also test the wiring of your appliances to make sure that they are safe to use.
A test certificate would show your insurance company that you have taken proper fire safety precautions to protect your home and prevent property damage or the need for a claim.
Any appliance with a high-capacity battery (such as a scooter, drone, or remote-control car) should be regularly checked for damage. Please ensure that you purchase from a well-known brand that you trust. If you see any signs of smoke from your device, keep a good distance from it and seek further guidance by calling 999.
We would also advise against keeping a mobile phone under your pillow at night, as the risk of burns is immediate should the battery be compromised or damaged earlier in the day (by being dropped, for example).
A reduction in flammable fabrics, cushions and clothing in the home has gone a long way to reduce the risk posed by smoking materials. A significant number of incidents still occur. We recommend that you always keep flammable liquids out of the reach of children and try to ensure that you never fall asleep with a cigarette.
The widespread adoption of ‘vape’ technology has brought a new danger into our homes. Many fires or burns have been caused by faulty vape chargers or batteries, and again, we recommend that you research any brand you choose to use and ensure that their product conforms to British safety standards.
Due to increasing popularity in recent years, candles are again becoming a major risk factor. A room full of scented candles can certainly be relaxing, but we strongly advise you to blow them out before you fall asleep.
As with any open flame, we’d recommend that you keep a clear area around each candle and place them where they can’t be easily knocked over by a pet or family member. Remember that hot wax can also cause life changing damage to skin and eyes, and nobody in the emergency room thought it would happen to them!
An increase in small independent ‘wax melt’ businesses has also led to customers buying products without knowing all of the ingredients, so make sure that any vendor is reliable, properly regulated and always keep an eye on any wax burners in your home.
When clients come to us to ask ‘what is the leading cause of house fires’, our answer is often ‘failure to prepare’. By taking a few important steps ahead of time, you can protect your possessions, your family, and the heartache that comes from an out-of-control fire in your home.
Ultimately, the correct solution can vary for each customer, and we’d be happy to discuss the right fire suppression installation for you. Our team is ready to help.