Common Causes of Building Fires

Building fires are much more common than most people realize. This includes fires that occur inside of residential homes as well as commercial structure fires. Here, we want to examine some recent building fire statistics. We also want to look at some of the most common causes of building fires.

When you are prepared with information, you could take various preventative steps to prevent fire from destroying your business or home. We want this information to prevent burn injuries and property damage.

Looking at the Causes of Building Fires

According to data available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), we can see that local fire departments responded to around 1.3 million fires during a recent reporting year. Unfortunately, these fires lead to around 3,700 civilian deaths and more than 16,000 civilian injuries. There was an estimated $14.8 billion worth of property damage as a result of fires during that same reporting year.

Fires can occur for a wide variety of reasons in both residential settings and commercial settings. Some of the most common causes of these fires include the following:


  • Cooking equipment. Whether in the home, at a restaurant, or another type of building, kitchens use high temperatures, flammable oils and grease, and a variety of types of equipment. If proper safety procedures are not followed when cooking, fires can originate from the kitchen area and spread to other areas of a building very rapidly.
  • Heating equipment. Depending on the time of year and climate, heating equipment inside personal homes and commercial buildings can lead to major fires. This can include issues with furnaces, boilers, radiators, and space heaters.
  • Electrical and lighting equipment. Most electrical and lighting wires run behind the walls inside homes and commercial buildings. However, anywhere there is electricity, there is an inherent fire risk. Old or defective wiring, loose connections, faulty fuses, overloaded circuits, imbalanced electrical loads, and other electrical issues can lead to a spark that ignites a fire.
  • Smoking materials. There are a variety of types of smoking materials that can cause fires, including cigars, cigarettes, and even electronic cigarettes. As more and more commercial buildings have gone smoke-free, the number of fires in commercial buildings caused by smoking has decreased. However, anyone is free to smoke inside of their homes, and this can lead to fires.
  • Intentional fires. Unfortunately, there are times when individuals maliciously set fires. Arsonists can affect private homes as well as commercial establishments.

According to the NFPA, fire departments respond to a fire somewhere in this country every 24 seconds. It is crucial that every fire is thoroughly investigated to determine what happened. In some cases, victims may be entitled to significant amounts of compensation for injuries or property damage losses.

What Should I Do If I’ve Suffered Injury From a Building Fire?

If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage in a building fire, you may be entitled to compensation if the careless or negligent actions of a property owner led to the fire starting in the first place. A skilled personal injury lawyer in Kentucky will be able to conduct a complete investigation into the incident in order to determine what happened. An attorney will negotiate vigorously with insurance carriers and at-fault parties to ensure that you are properly cared for and that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.