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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

5 Most Common Places a House Fire Starts

2/23/2019 (Permalink)

Taking basic precautions can help prevent fires at these five most common locations in your home

A fire can start almost anywhere in your home, but some areas are more likely to catch fire than others. America’s 350,000 annual house fires happen for many reasons—faulty electrical wiring, overheated appliances, unattended candles and fireplaces—but taking simple precautions at these five locations may prevent a fire at your home.


Half of all residential fires start in the kitchen due to appliances that use heat/electricity, cooking-related incidents (such as an unattended oven or stovetop), or fabric and material (a dishcloth, for example) that's too close to heat or a flame. An oven/stovetop with baked-on grease and residue can easily cause grease fires. Never leave food cooking on a stovetop unattended.

For Fire Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of Midtown Memphis 

Appliances that operate with electricity, gas or heat are potential fire hazards. Appliances 15 years or older are particularly prone to fire damage, especially if they aren't regularly cleaned, inspected and maintained. It's a good idea to only run appliances when you're at home.

  • Dryers: lint, fiber and dust buildup is a primary cause of a laundry room fire. Keep vents and filters clean by removing lint after each use, and at least once a year, clean the lint from the exhaust hose at the back of the dryer.
  • Dishwashers: heating elements in the dishwasher can overheat and catch fire, especially in older models.
  • Microwaves: although convenient, microwaves can be dangerous if you heat food or materials that are flammable, such as aluminum foil, Styrofoam or certain plastic containers.
  • Toasters/Toaster Ovens: the electrical elements inside a toaster can become faulty over time and may not turn off, which could start a fire. Crumbs can accumulate and become stuck at the bottom of the toaster, so clean it regularly. Never leave these appliances unsupervised when in use.


There are many potential fire hazards in bedrooms: bedding, curtains, plush items, mattresses. Mattresses made after 2007 are flame-retardant and comply with higher safety standards, so if yours is older, consider purchasing a new one. Install smoke alarms in each bedroom and make a fire escape plan that includes two ways to exit the room (usually through the door and a window).

For Fire Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of Midtown Memphis 

Chimneys and Fireplaces

Chimneys and fireplaces can develop structural problems over time, which can cause temperatures to burn too high or chimney liners to loosen or detach, which can allow burning embers and ash to escape to combustible areas in walls, attics and roofs. Keep chimneys and fireplaces cleaned and maintained, and have them inspected and professionally cleaned at least once a year or when there is a quarter-inch buildup of creosote or soot. Keep rugs, tapestries and other fabrics away from the fireplace, and always keep a spark screen in front of the fireplace.

Living Room

Like bedrooms, living rooms contain many potentially flammable items: electronics, drapes/curtains, furniture. Candles are among the leading fire hazards in living rooms. Never leave a burning candle unattended and place it away from flammable/combustible objects.

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