Any fire in your home can be devastating whether the damage is minor or major. You can drastically reduce your chances of a house fire by knowing the main causes of fires and taking steps to avoid these causes. Here are the five main causes of house fires in the U.S.

Kitchen Fires

Kitchen fires are by far the most common cause of fires in homes and make up nearly half of all residential fires. Cooking with grease is most frequently the cause of a kitchen fire because it’s extremely flammable when hot. It can even combust spontaneously without ever touching an open flame. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended and clean up splattered grease as quickly as possible. Other appliances such as toasters or electric griddles can be the cause of a cooking fire. Let these appliance cool off completely before storing them. Outdoor cooking fires can also result in damage to a home. It’s important to remember that most kitchen fires can be extinguished by smothering or using a fire extinguisher specifically made for the kitchen, so have one stored nearby at all times.


Unintentional carelessness is another common cause of house fires. Carelessness could include a child playing with matches or an adult falling asleep while smoking. Cigarette butts can quickly ignite furniture, carpet, or other flammable materials. The only way to avoid a fire from unintentional carelessness is to be extra vigilant whenever you’re using items like matches or cigarettes and to only use them outdoors when possible.


Open flames from candles are another major cause of house fires or other damage. Candles that are left underneath a kitchen cabinet, for instance may not cause a major fire, but the smoke can damage cabinets and require professional fire restoration. It’s best to completely avoid the use of candles in your home. If you use them to improve the smell of your home, look for other air freshener options that don’t require the use of an open flame. If you do choose to continue using candles in your home, make sure the flame is at least 12 inches away from any materials that could ignite and that they’re completely out of the reach of children.

Workers Repairing Fire Damage

Electrical Fires

Poor workmanship or worn-out components can cause electrical fires. Faulty wiring can cause short circuits, which causes sparking in between the walls of your home. The potential for an electrical fire is a little more difficult to predict, so if you notice any buzzing sounds when using light switches or appliances, call an electrician. It’s also a good idea to have an electrician inspect older homes that don’t have protective features.

Heat Sources

Extra heat sources are another main cause of house fires. These heat sources include things such as baseboard or space heaters that are left too close to flammable items. Chimney fires from a fireplace can also spread to the home and create substantial damage that can only be fixed by professionals offering fire damage restoration in Ocean City, MD. An extra heat source should never be left unattended in the home, so be vigilant about putting out fires or unplugging additional heat sources. If you’ve suffered any type of fire damage in your home, contact United Restoration, Inc., today.