Top 5 Common Causes of House Fires (During the Holidays)

Holidays are a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy traditional decorations, and indulge in mouthwatering food. Unfortunately, there’s a fire risk associated with the holidays. 

This post features the top causes of holiday house fires and how to avoid them.

5 Leading Causes of Fires During the Holidays

Here are the most common causes of house fires during the holidays: 

1. Christmas Trees

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) confirms that annual Christmas trees trigger 160 residential fires annually. 

    The NFPA estimates that each year, the fires cause $10 million in direct property damage since they spread swiftly and can destroy more than just the tree.

    Christmas tree fires usually call for fire extinguishers. You must use the correct extinguisher to avoid human injury or property damage. Using the wrong kind of extinguisher might lead to fire spread, explosion, or electrical shock.

    2. Holiday Decorations

      In 2015-2019, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 790 residential structure fires per year that started with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. 

      These fires resulted in one civilian fire fatality, 26 civilian fire injuries, and $13 million in direct property damage per year.

      Paying attention to your indoor decorations and not overusing light outside help lessen the possibility of this horrific event. Extinguishers such as fire blankets and fire sprays also come in handy.

      3. Electrical Malfunctions

        As reported by the NFPA, electrical failure or faults cause over 34,000 residential fires yearly. This results in 440 deaths and $1.3 billion in direct property damage.

        When electrical malfunctions occur, switch off your house’s electric panels. Then, get out of the house right away. Call the fire department immediately if the fire does not appear to get smaller after a few minutes.

        4. Unattended Stoves

          According to the NFPA, unsupervised cooking is the primary cause of kitchen fires. The stove is the source of the majority of house fires.

          So, you have to be careful when using stoves or any kitchen appliances, for that matter. Don’t leave your stove unattended and always unplug your kitchen appliances after using them.

          5. Candles

            Candle fires account for 2% of recorded house fires and home fatalities, according to the NFPA.

            While candle fires are not as devastating as kitchen and Christmas tree fires, don’t overlook them. Always ensure that at least one person’s around when a candle is lit. Don't leave a lit candle unattended for the love of all things safety, don’t leave a lit candle unattended. 


            You can easily overlook fire safety when you're under stress and busy with holiday shopping and house decoration. Although it is impossible to foresee where or when a fire will start, you can take steps to get ready in case it does.

            Assembling a fire kit helps a ton. Head on to Prepared Hero and shop for fire survival tools now!