House and Apartment Fires: The Most Common Causes

The United States Fire Administration estimates that there were over 360,000 residential building fires in America in 2010, causing 13,275 injuries, over 2,500 deaths, and over $6.6 billion in damage. A relatively small number of residential fires are unavoidable. In most cases, humans can reduce or eliminate the risk of fire with careful attention to safety issues.

 

After every residential fire in North Carolina, an investigation should identify what initiated the blaze, how the fire spread, and what preventive measures could have been used. Such information can help bring closure to a family whose house has burned. Without this information, the family members might spend anxious nights wondering whether the fire was avoidable or if another might occur.

 

At Speaks Law Firm, we can help find the answers you need to move on with your life. Our North Carolina fire claim attorneys will investigate the circumstances of your recent North Carolina mobile home fire or apartment fire to determine exactly who or what was at fault. If the damage was due to someone else’s negligence, we are ready to assist you in recovering all the compensation you deserve.

 

Where did the fire begin?

 

Every dwelling has numerous sources of electricity and heat that potentially can start fires. The most common we see as premises fire lawyers in Wilmington fall into the following categories:

 

  • Gas explosions. Natural gas is flammable, making gas leaks a potential source for a fiery explosion. Stoves, hot water heaters, gas dryers, and leaking propane tanks all can initiate a house fire.

 

  • Electrical fires. Although lightning can start a house fire, it is very uncommon. It’s far more likely that your Wilmington electrical fire was due to faulty, damaged, or modified household wiring; defective light fixtures or bulbs; overloaded circuits; damaged outlets, plugs, extension cords, surge protectors, or power bars; or faulty appliances.

 

  • Heating and cooling systems. This includes furnaces, kerosene heaters, bad air-conditioning units, and electric space heaters placed too close to flammable items.

 

  • Cooking and kitchen fires. Defective or malfunctioning kitchen appliances—including toasters and microwave ovens—can shed sparks that can begin fires in combustible materials. Even when everything is working properly in the kitchen, an unattended stove or oven can start a cooking fire in a matter of seconds.

 

  • Waste materials. Old paint and varnish cans, solvents, aerosol cans, and oily rags can accumulate and be forgotten until a spark ignites an inferno. Dispose of all waste products safely and promptly after use.

 

  • Open flames. Welding, soldering, and grinding in a home workshop should be done only by persons trained in safety procedures and only after all flammable or combustible materials have been cleared from the area. Other household flame hazards include tobacco products and lighters, fireplaces, and candles. 

 

Determining Responsibility

 

Fires often occur because of the negligence of the property owner who fails to minimize a fire hazard he knows about, or one he should have known about had he been taking reasonable care. Other times, a manufacturer, installer, or technician is responsible for fire injuries from a defective appliance or faulty repair job.

 

At Speaks Law Firm, we help North Carolina burn victims and the families of fatal residential fires recover the compensation they deserve. If you have been involved in a fire at your home that was not your fault, contact us at 910-341-7570 locally or 877-593-4233 statewide toll-free. Your consultation with our attorneys is always FREE and confidential.