Prevent Accidents

Know the Top 10 Fire Causes in Tucson

1) Cooking  
Cooking fires typically occur when food is left unattended or when grease splatters and catches fire. Storage of combustibles near the stove such as paper towels, cardboard boxes (cereal) and dish rags can increase the risk of fire.

2) Children
Curious children may also set fires if they acquire matches and lighters left unattended in the home. Remember to secure matches and lighters in a locked cabinet beyond the reach of children.  If you find singed or melted items such as toys, clothing, paper, or vegetation or if you notice burnt matches or missing lighters discuss the dangers of fire setting with your children immediately, for these are signs of fire play.  If you need assistance intervening in your child’s fire setting call 837-7075 to request a Juvenile Fire Stopper Class.

3) Candles
Candles that are left unattended, placed on uneven or flammable surfaces or placed too close to combustible materials can cause fires in the home.  Candles should be kept out of the reach of children and pets and extinguished before leaving the room.

4) Heating Equipment
Heating equipment including portable heaters, hot water heaters, toasters, curling irons, coffee makers and any other heat producing appliance can cause a fire if left operating in close proximity to combustible materials.  Remember to leave three feet of space between hot appliances and combustibles such as paper, cardboard, cloth, or plastic.  Contact a qualified technician to schedule an annual maintenance for your furnace and check filters regularly.  Remove the lint from the dryer after each load of laundry.

5) Smoking
Smoking is the leading cause of fires resulting in death. Never smoke while in bed or while drowsy.  Avoid smoking under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Whenever possible smoke outside of the home away from combustible materials and use large, deep ashtrays.

6) Electrical Equipment
Damaged electrical appliances, cords, plugs or wiring can cause fires.  Overloading electrical outlets with multiple plugs, using extension cords inappropriately and running electrical cords under rugs, heavy furniture or in high traffic areas can present a significant fire hazard.  Avoid “do-it-yourself” electrical projects, before attempting to install electrical components contact a licensed contractor.

7) Inadequate Wiring
If you are experiencing dimming lights when using another appliance, blown fuses or tripped breakers regularly, you may not have adequate wiring in your home.  This may overload the existing electrical system and cause a fire.  Contact a licensed contractor to assess your needs and install the needed equipment.

8) BBQ Grills
Grilling near or under combustible structures can cause a fire, operate the grill at least 10 feet away from any structure.  Clean the cooking surface of the grill regularly with soapy water to remove grease and check the grill for leaks by spraying soapy water on all of the hoses and connections.

9) Flammable Liquids
Remember to store flammable liquids such as fuel, lacquer, solvents, cleaning agents and other volatiles in approved containers in an area outside of the home.  These liquids emit high vapors when not contained and can ignite easily from a simple ignition source such as static electricity, high temperatures or heating equipment.

10) Fireplace & Chimney
The fireplace and chimney can present a fire hazard if not properly secured or maintained.  Inspect your fireplace thoroughly prior to use, ensure that the fireplace’s integrity is intact and all safety equipment is working.  Contact a chimney sweep to clean the chimney as needed. Remove overgrown vegetation from the exterior before use.


Great Home Fire Safety Survey Checklist From the NFPA