The National Fire Protection Association or NFPA reported that from 2007-2011, 15,400 high-rise structure fires were reported PER YEAR. These fires resulted in 530 injuries, 46 deaths, and $219 million in property damage on average each year. Of the 15,400 fires reported, about 3% were in high-rise buildings. That means there were about 400 fires on average per year in these buildings.

About half of high-rise fires occurred in offices, apartments, hotels, and facilities. Whether you’re at home, at the office, or even on vacation, you can never be too safety-conscious when it comes to fire. There are a myriad of ways a fire can begin in any high-rise building. The following are some of the most common ways that a fire can break out.


You’re preparing dinner one night, when all of a sudden you get a phone call. You walk around while talking, and head into the other room because the food you’re frying is making too much noise. By the time you remember you were cooking something, twenty minutes have passed. Not being attentive to what you’re cooking is an easy way for a fire to start, especially if you’re frying something. The NFPA has reported that 40 percent of all house fires are cooking related. Do not leave your stove unmanned because you never know what may happen while you’re gone.


Obviously, these kinds of fires generally occur in the winter. Half of these kinds of fires happen between the months of December and February. During those cold winter months, heaters help us sleep warm and stay comfortable at night. Heaters can, however, easily cause a fire. Space heaters, especially, can short out. Some people don’t think about it or realize, and will just throw clothing or a blanket on top of the space heater. A fire can start very easily this way, so refrain from doing so. According to the NFPA, space heaters accounted for one third of home heating fires from 2007-2011 and 81 percent of home heating fire deaths.


Saying that there are a lot of smokers in America is an understatement. According to the CDC, about 40 million adults over the age of 18 in the U.S. smoke cigarettes. According to the NFPA, smoking materials, such as cigars, pipes, and cigarettes, are the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S. The best way to prevent these fires from occurring is to make sure these materials are completely extinguished when throwing them away. Do not leave your cigarette lying on your nightstand, still lit, while you take care of something else. Fire-safe cigarettes are less likely to cause fires as well.


Kids should not play with fire, period. Letting children play with fire is incredibly irresponsible and can very likely lead to tragedy. Fire peaks their interest. They will tend to ask about fire sooner or later, and it’s best to educate them properly. Make sure they understand the dangers of fire and not to leave any matches or lighters out in the open. If you have kids, make sure you only use lighters with child-resistant features.


There are many ways a fire can start at home or at the office. These were only four of them. In order to avoid these fires, it is essential to understand what causes them. Be alert, be attentive, and most importantly, stay safe.