Why do Fires Start

Why do Fires Start?

Fires can start by people neglecting basic fire precautions, for example:

  • Basic maintenance and servicing of electrical and gas appliances keeps equipment safe and people as safe as possible
  • Faulty wiring (both in the property’s circuitry and in the appliances which are plugged into it) must be repaired immediately, e.g. wiring can deteriorate over time and can be subject to wear and tear through use and/or misuse. (Vermin such as rats and squirrels pose particular risks in wiring but some domestic pets such as dogs and cats can, if left unattended, cause fires e.g. by catching their claws on cooker controls etc.)
  • Poor supervision of children, adults who lack capacity, pets etc.
  • By not following manufacturers’ instructions on the safe use of equipment and hazardous materials (emphasise here that some substances when mixed with others may cause explosions which lead to fires)
  • By being careless in everyday life e.g. putting flammable substances near sources of heat or ignition; leaving cooking unattended; putting mirrors near windows where the sun may cause them to set fire to combustible material etc.
  • Poorly guarded fires and flames and not using flame proof fabrics in clothing which could be exposed to fires e.g. nightclothes, curtains, settees etc.
  • By using unsafe and unwise practices with regards to the lighting and control of fires. E.g. by lighting bonfires too close to property, other flammable materials or cars.
  • By drying clothing inappropriately e.g. next to heaters
  • Deliberately – This can be an important factor in some health and social service settings. Where there is a person with a known history of arson they must be properly risk assessed when using a service. Staff must report anyone who is threatening to use fire as a weapon against themselves, others or property, as soon as they can. This person may pose considerable risk to the health and safety of him/herself and/or others.

Use to answer question 13.7a of the Care Certificate

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