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Leading causes of residential fires in Chicago and how to avoid them

September 25, 2023
Man surprised by smoke pouring out of oven

When you own a home, there are many threats to keep in mind. Fire is chief among them, as it can arise in any place and at any time. The U.S. Fire Administration approximated an astounding $8.9 billion in property damage throughout the United States due to residential fires in 2021. That same year, there were more than 350,000 documented fires. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid them. Learn more about the causes and how to prevent house fires in Chicago.

What sparks residential fires in Chicago?

Fires can sprout up in any spot and without warning, whether caused by a smoldering cigarette in a waste container or a neglected stovetop. Here are the most common causes of residential fires.

  • Cooking: Kitchen flare-ups are the most frequent types of residential fires in Chicago and all other areas. Ignored stovetops are the chief culprit, so always watch that hot skillet when making a meal. It’s also worth nothing that dousing a grease fire with water will only make things worse.
  • Heating: Space heaters are well known for causing residential fires. Running them for too long can result in inner parts degrading and sparking. Putting heaters next to combustible objects like blankets and drapes or using damaged cords will also lead to disastrous results. Other types of heating, such as fireplaces and furnaces, might cause fires and need to be examined frequently.
  • Electrical: Old wiring, defective outlets, and overburdened extension cords are a few of the ways electrical issues lead to fires. Whenever you notice burning smells, sparking, or flickering lights, get it investigated promptly.
  • Candles: Whenever there's a flame, there's the possibility of fire. Residential fires caused by candles are still commonplace and usually result from people being careless. Putting them within a pet’s domain or near ignitable objects will lead to disaster.
  • Smoking: Despite the overall reduction in smoking across the country, it’s still an undeniable fire hazard. The U.S. Fire Administration announced that 7,800 residential fires were started by smoking in 2021. Dozing off with a cigarette in hand or discarding smoldering ashes prematurely can cause catastrophic results.

The primary way to prevent house fires in Chicago is to steer clear of reckless behavior. Always keep an eye on things when cooking, never leave a candle burning unattended, and discard cigarettes properly. If you must operate a space heater, do so in short intervals and use one that offers an automatic shut-off safety precaution in the event it overturns.

Get help quickly with a monitored fire alarm in Chicago

You need to have smoke detectors on all floors and consider using more near bedrooms. But you can take your protection a step further with a monitored fire alarm. These innovative safety features will not only detect smoke but can also trigger due to extreme heat. Additionally, because they integrate into your modern smart home, they’ll alert you and your monitoring representatives whenever a crisis strikes. This is a worthwhile perk, especially when you’re not there to hear the alarm and call the fire department yourself.

Safeguard your home against common risks with a Vivint smart home in Chicago

Upgrade the safety of your property today with a Vivint smart home. You may personalize our systems with monitored fire alarms, water sensors, and carbon monoxide detectors. You’ll be thankful for the instant notifications to your cell phone and the 24-hour support that you get with professional monitoring. Dial (312) 626-4802 to speak with a skilled Vivint professional.