Major & Common Causes of Fire

Most Commone and main causes of fire

Major & Common Causes of Fire in Home Structure and Industries.

Upon completion of This lesson, you will be able to:

1. Describe common Causes of Fire.
2. Describe the major Causes of Fire.
3. Describe the causes of home structure fires
4. Describe / elaborate the main causes of fire in industries.
5. Enlist classification of fire causes according to NFPA.

You can define Major Common Causes of Fire at Home Industries, commercial Industry and Household fire.

  1. Common Causes of Fire:

1.1 Human Factors:

Which are the major contribution to fire, have been identified as

  1. Carelessness in work.
  2. Lack of concentration.

1.2 Some common cause of fire:

Some common cause of fire or given below:

  • Smoke, matches, cigarette ends etc.
  • Trees on power lines.
  • Faults or misuse of electrical equipment.
  • Burning or faulty generating equipment.
  • Cooking fires.
  • Static electricity.
  • Arson and deliberate ignition.
  • Vehicle fire.

Vehicles fire may later tends to a great fire

, it may be an accident, a criminal activity, to defraud for insurance or revenge. The fire fighter will determine the best sources that are the primary cause of this big danger. 

The largest fire cause category is unknown because the cause is | never defined for nearly half of fires.


Incendiary/ suspicious : =================14.3%

Open Flame: ================= =========6.4%

Cooking Fire: ==========================5.9%

Smoking : =============================3.2%

Over Heating: ==========================3.1%

Exposure : =============================2.3%

Children playing : ========================2.2%

Appliances: ============================2.2%

Natural : ================= =============1.7%

National Fire Data Center USA (2001)

  1. Major Cause of Fire:

Major cause in industrial and non-industrial (residential / occupancies) is electrical fire. Main causes of electrical fires are:

  • Over loading of cables.
  • Short circuit of conductors.
  • Leakage of current to earth (e.g. due to failure of cable insulation).
  • Loose wire connections.
  1. Home Structure Fires:

According to NFPA, 396000 home structure fires were reported in the US in 2006. These caused 2580 fatalities and more than $ 6.8 billion in direct property damage.

Leading cause of fire in the home.

Sr#Major cause% of total fires% of civilian deaths% of property damage
1Cooking equip.38 %15 %13 %
2Heating equip.19 %24 %18%
3Intentional05 %11 %09 %
4Electrical06 %11 %12 %
5Smoking04 %24 %07 %
6Candle04%06 %08 %
7exposure03 %01 %06 %

Source: Home structure fires, Sep 2007; NFPA fire analysis and research division.

  1. Causes of Fire in Industries:

Causes of fire industrial premises are considered due to:


  1. Faulty oil, gas and electrical heating, boiler and drying equipment’s.
  2. Hot products or waste products.
  3. Friction generation.
  4. Spontaneous chemical ignition.
  5. Burning charcoal.
  6. Chimney or exhaust pipe.
  7. Over heating of electrical appliances/ machines equipments.
  8. Chemical fire.

5. Fire Cause Classifications:

Once the facts are known, the circumstances of the fire are I generally divided into four classifications according to NFPA 921. They include:

  • Accidental fire cause.
  • Natural fire cause.
  • Incendiary / arson fire cause.
  • Undetermined fire cause.

5.1 Accidental Fire Cause:

All of those fires for which the proven facts/ cause does not involve a deliberate human act to ignite a fire or spread of fire into an area where it should not go.

5.2 Natural Fire Cause:

Fire caused by lightning, earth quakes, wind and other natural forces without human intervention.

Lightning is powerful force that causes many fires. A lightning strike in a forest can ignite a tree, and a strike on a building can have tremendous destructive effects, sending several thousand volts through the electric wiring system.

This surge can destroy television, computers, telephone system and anything else that is plugged into electrical system. Lightning can also follow steel/ metal structure building and ignite combustibles that came in contact with them.

5.3 Incendiary and Arson fire causes:

5.3.1 Incendiary fire causes:

Any fire that is deliberately ignited under circumstances in which the person knows that the fire should not be spread (uncontrolled). An incendiary fire is one that is intentionally started without any criminal activity. An incendiary fire is not necessarily arson.

5.3.2 Arson fire causes:

Arson Is a crime of maliciously and Intentionally starting or causing an explosion.

5.4 Undetermined Fire Cause:

Any fire, in which the cause cannot be proved, is classified as undetermined fire. The fire may still be under investigation. Also this may be because of extensive damage caused by fire or firefighting activities.


Consolidated Report of Fire Emergencies From 2007 to November, 2013.


1Total Emergency49327
2Total Victims2981
3Short Circuit20143
4Gas Leakage2165
5LPG Cylinder458
7Fire Works309
9Kitchen Fire973
10Forest Fire551
12Others Fire5320
13First Aid1028
16Commercial Area17196
17Residential Area15722
19 Estimated Loss (M)38395.2
20Estimated Saved (M)144775.9


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