Common Fire Hazards at Home

Brad LackeyFire Damage, Fire Damage Prevention


Everyone knows that property fires are destructive, but when it occurs to the individuals themselves, the experience is devastating. All of their belongings, home, and memories will have perished in the flames while they are left with nothing but their insurance claim and a fire damage restoration company to salvage their remaining belongings.

While property fires will cause damage to all surfaces throughout the home, many are started by small sparks and flames from common household items. The real tragedy is that the majority of all property fires in the U.S. could have been prevented, simply by blowing out a candle or remembering to turn off the stovetop burners.

While many of us are aware of the potential fire hazards within our homes, it is crucial to be aware of them all in order to protect you, your family, and all of the belongings within your property. All of the following are common fire hazards at home and safety tips you can take to avoid a natural disaster:

Alcohol and FiresAlcohol-Fire-Hazards-at-Home

Unfortunately, there are a number of deaths that are caused each year by individuals trying to smoke or cook while under the influence of alcohol. Simply avoiding getting behind the wheel is not enough – you must never handle any hazardous material after heavy drinking.

Safety Tips to Take:

  • Drink responsibly.
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home, especially if there is drinking involved. To be extra sure, look around your floors for any burning ashes or cigarette butts. Put them out immediately and dispose of the butts.
  • Avoid smoking altogether if you have been drinking heavily.
  • Do not cook after drinking heavily. Make sure the stove is properly turned off before going to bed.
  • Do not use candles at any parties or gatherings when alcohol is present.


The number of candles – therefore burning flames – has increased in households because of their trendiness and enticing smells. Unfortunately, this also means that the number of property fires caused by these burning flames has also risen. While they can be fun and add comfort to your home, it is extremely important to blow them out before leaving the room.

Fire Hazards to Avoid:Candles-Common-Fire-Hazards-at-Home

  • Make sure the wax and glass containing the wax is sturdy.
  • Do not place a candle where it can be reached by young children, pets, or bumped unintentionally.
  • Make sure the wick is short before lighting the candle.
  • Never carry a lit candle; they can be easily dropped.
  • If there is a power outage, stick to battery-powered lamps and flashlights.
  • Keep candles away from holiday decorations, presents, and Christmas trees during the holiday seasons.


Apart from candles, kitchen fires are the most common cause of starting property fires. Make sure you are supervising all open flames while keeping young children and pets at a safe distance. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires. Grease fires and cooking-related accidents can occur when cooking equipment is left unsupervised or flammable materials are placed too close to heat sources.

Hazards to Avoid:

  • Do not leave an open flame unattended – even when going to use the restroom.
  • Clean your oven after each use. Grease allows flames to travel easily and get out of control.
  • Always keep a fire hydrant close by and in an easily-accessible location.
  • Roll up your sleeves to avoid 3rd-degree burns.
  • Turn pot handles in to prevent children from reaching up and grabbing them.
  • Do not cook after heavy drinking.

Electrical Components

Electrical fires can include a number of accidents, including overloaded circuits, equipment/appliance malfunctions, or overheated space heaters.

Avoidable Fire Hazards:

  • Replace all old, loose, or damaged cords.
  • Do not overload circuits or outlets.
  • Hire an electrician to inspect your home’s electrical wiring at least once each year.
  • If you currently use a lot of electricity, hire an electrician to install additional circuits or outlets.

Washing Machines and DryersWashing-Machine-Dryer-Fire-Hazards

In addition to water damage, washing machine, and dryer malfunctions can easily start property fires if they are not cleaned on a regular basis.

Avoid these Fire Hazards:

  • Remove the lint from the dryer filter after each use.
  • Do not overload your washing machine or dryer.
  • Ensure all air ducts are cleaned professionally each year and there are no blockages within the exhaust pipe and outdoor vent flap.


Smoking is not only damaging to your health, but it can also destroy your home. Each year, thousands of homes perish in flames after burning ashes and cigarette butts fall onto the floor or are thrown into the garbage. If you have to smoke, do yourself a favor and do it outside.

Safety Tips:

  • Encourage all smokers to smoke outside.
  • Always use ashtrays – and nothing else – to extinguish lit cigarettes.
  • Never leave a lit cigarette unattended.
  • Make sure all smoke alarms are installed in every room and are in good working condition.
  • Never smoke and drink alcohol at the same time.

Lighters and Matches

Children may inadvertently cause fires by playing with matches, lighters, or other ignition sources. All young children are curious about matches and lighters, even after hearing countless lectures about never touching these hazards. Keeping these items out of children’s reach and teaching them about fire safety is crucial. It is your responsibility as an adult to keep them out of their reach at all times.

Fire Safety Tips:

  • If you use lighters or matches for smoking, keep them with you at all times.
  • Teach young children to always tell an adult when they see an unattended lighter or match.
  • If any items are burnt around your home, find the cause of the fire right away.

Flammable liquids

Storing and handling flammable liquids, such as gasoline, propane, solvents, or paints, inappropriately can pose fire hazards. These substances should be stored in well-ventilated areas and away from ignition sources.

Heating sources

Improper use of heating equipment, such as space heaters, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves, can lead to fires. Placing flammable items too close to these heat sources or failing to clean chimneys and vents regularly can also pose fire risks.

fire-damage-restoration-Fort Wayne, IN

Emergency Restoration Services in Fort Wayne, IN

While it is crucial to be aware of ALL fire hazards at home, not all accidents can be prevented. At any moment you notice a fire in your home, don’t hesitate to grab your family and get out right away. Then call 911 as soon as everyone has safely evacuated.

After the flames have been extinguished, the smoke will spread throughout the property to cover all remaining surfaces. In order to save as many of your belongings as possible, call an emergency fire damage restoration service right away. ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors is waiting on standby 24/7 to answer your call and will arrive within 2 hours to your property. Our technicians will then use advanced products to remove the smoke and soot residue to salvage as many belongings and building materials as possible.