Date: August 08, 2014 Author: Brandon Winters

No one expects it to happen; they arrive home from running errands and find their home engulfed in flames. There are thousands of reasons why homes catch fire, but some are far more common than others. Whether you plan to become a firefighter or simply want some safety tips for preventing residential fires, take some time to read about the most common reasons for house fires; and don’t forget to check out our great selection of firefighter training books available in our online store.


Almost everyone knows about the health dangers of smoking tobacco, but smoking is also one of the leading causes of home fires. Smokers often enjoy their habit in areas of the home that have plenty of flammable material, such as in bedrooms and lounges. Just one stray ember can be enough to spark a conflagration that takes down the entire structure. For those who need more than a medical incentive to kick the smoking habit, preventing residential fires is it.


The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) -- a leading promoter of firefighter training -- reports that cooking causes 40% of house fires. Many stoves are surrounded by materials that don’t burn easily, but if a flaming pan burns long enough, it could ignite wood cabinetry that is installed above the stovetop. Many cooking fires result from inattendance to the cooking process. If a pan is on the stove, be sure to wait until the cooking process is complete before leaving the kitchen.

Electric Cords

As firefighter training manuals that focus on home fire prevention often mention, electric cords can be a major fire hazard when they carry a load that exceeds their load capacity. This commonly happens with power strips that have multiple plug-ins. Doing a little math and adding up the maximum load a power strip can handle can prevent your house from going up in flames. At the very least, it can prevent your power strips from wearing out prematurely.      

Christmas Trees

Many evergreens tend to be flammable while they still have roots in the ground. Uproot them and string them with Christmas lights, and they become even more flammable. All it takes to make the ornamental greenery go up in smoke is a single decorative light that malfunctions and creates sparks or flames. Some people insist on having a natural Christmas tree in their home for tradition’s sake, but using an artificial, fire-retardant tree is a better option for fire safety.  


A candle may seem innocuous, but the flame it produces can easily start a fire if the candle is  tipped over. Two of the most common reasons for home fires started with candles are pets tipping over candles  and children playing with the flame. If you love the look and smell of wax candles but don’t want a fire hazard in your home, place candles on a pedestal with a glass guard to protect the flame, and place the pedestal on a stable, inflammable surface.

Get Educated Today

Firebooks offers a variety of firefighter training resources that help aspiring firefighters acquire the knowledge they need for their occupation. Our firefighter training books also offer important information on fire prevention that almost anyone can use. If you need help selecting a book to assist you in accomplishing your firefighter training objectives, or one that provides important information about residential fire prevention, browse the wide selection or give us a call today at (800) 727-3327.

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