Sources of fire within the home

Major sources of house fires

From electrical to cigarettes and more

The causes of fires are not always straightforward. Cooking appliances, matches, central and water heating appliances, smokers materials, and misuse of equipment or appliances are common causes of fires within the household.

According to the government, Fire and rescue services (FRSs) attended around 528,7001 incidents in England during 2015/16, 7% higher than the previous year. This increase was predominantly driven by a large increase in non-fire incidents.

Smokers’ materials (such as cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco) caused 36 per cent of fatalities in accidental dwelling fires in 2014/15, and was by far the largest ignition category. In contrast only six per cent of accidental dwelling fires were caused by smokers’ materials in 2014/15.

Cooking appliances caused 50 per cent of accidental dwelling fires in 2014/15, and was by far the largest ignition category. In contrast, only six per cent of accidental dwelling fire fatalities were caused by cooking appliances in 2014/15.

36 per cent of accidental dwelling fires in 2014/15 were caused by “misuse of equipment or appliances”, the same percentage as in 2013/14. The second largest cause category was “faulty appliances and leads” which caused 16 per cent of all accidental dwelling fires.

The item mainly responsible for the fire in 27 per cent of dwelling fires in 2014/15 was “food”, these fires caused two per cent of dwelling fire fatalities. In contrast “Textiles, upholstery and furnishings” was the item first ignited (but not necessarily mainly responsible) in 26 per cent of dwelling fires in 2014/15 however these fires caused 61 per cent of dwelling fire fatalities

44 per cent of fire fatalities in accidental dwellings fires in 2014/15 were in fires that started in the living/dining room, 31 per cent were in fires that started in a bedroom or bedsit. In the previous year these figures were 41 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.


Serving the
UK 24/7
0845 052 4522

Fire restoration services

Fire incidents and fatalities are affected by seasonality and temporality. Generally fewer fires happen between midnight and 6am, but the number of fatalities is relatively high. This difference is even more marked in accidental dwelling fires than all fire incidents. Dwelling, Other Building and Road Vehicle fires show little seasonality, however outdoor fires and chimney fires do. Grassland, refuse and other outdoor fires tend to be greater in the summer and seem to reflect weather patterns, while chimney fires are greater in the winter months.

46 per cent of all fires in 2014/15 in England took place between 16:00 and 22:00. These six hours were the six individual hours where the highest proportion of fires took place. The peak was between 19:00 and 20:00 with nine percent of fires in this single hour.

In contrast to the number of fires, the number of fatalities is more stable across the day. However a quarter (25%) of fatalities occur between 00:00 and 06:00 despite only 13 per cent of fires occurring over the same six hours.

July experienced the most fires per day in 2014/15, with 525 fires per day being attended by Fire and Rescue Services whilst January has the fewest (303). These figures compare to an annual daily average of 424 fires in 2014/15 as a whole.

Indoor fires (fires in dwellings, buildings other than dwellings and road vehicles) showed relatively little seasonality, with the average daily rate of fires attended varying between 174 and 190 in 2014/15 in England. The daily rate of Outdoor fires varied far more greatly between 101 and 334 over the same time and Chimney fires between 1 and 30.

Tempest Restoration 24/7 service


A. We aim to be on the scene as soon as we can. With technicians located acrosss the UK, you are never too far away from the expert help of Tempest Restoration. The longer you delay after your property has been affected by fire, the worse the damage will be. From the moment of arrival on site, we will begin the decontamination process. We work around the clock to ensure that fire damage and your losses are kept to a minimum. We aim to safely return your business to normal, as quickly as possible.

A. Damage caused by fire may look superficial but its the effects on materials that are not visible that can have lasting consequences to health and to the structure of a building. Potential hazards include asbestos and lead among others. Your home is full of porous materials and smoke can penetrate these materials beyond what is viewable by the naked eye. Our bespoke equipment and understanding of the uniqueness of each fire gives us the ability to detect fire damage and deal with it safely and effectively. Hired machines in the hands of inexperienced operators will cost unnecessary time and money in the long term. We understand the urgency of returning your home to its pre incident state and we operate quickly and efficiently to do so for you.

A. From your point of view, the quicker the process starts, the quicker you can be back in your home. Restoration work following a fire can be lengthy, it would be wrong to assume its a quick fix. Secondary damage caused by fire begins within minutes but can be minimised if dealt with promptly by a professional. During a fire, chemical reactions produce chemicals that are toxic and potentially fatal. During the time that the fire services are extinguishing the flames, the use of water (although required for putting out the fire) can unfortunately cause further structural damage and additional hazards. The contaminated area needs to be neutralised and rendered safe to prevent further damage and degradation. Potentially, every minute is costing you money.

A. During the combustion of a fire, chemical changes occur and environmental pollutants are created, many of which are harmful to human health. This seems fairly straight forward but natural and synthetic materials in your home produce a vast array of chemicals, depending on their makeup. Here at Tempest, we thoroughly assess the entire area using state-of-the-art testing equipment to detect any traces of hazardous substances.

A. Of paramount importance and priority is safety. Fire can, however big or small, cause structural damage to your home. Even past the point of the emergency services approving the site safe for entry, you should still proceed with caution. Every fire is different and unique. The location of a fire in your home can cause a chain reaction to other rooms, and sometimes it can be contained, either way the process of restoration is variable depending on many different factors. We assess each site to ascertain the extent of the damage and the precise actions required. We undertake a comprehensive risk assessment and survey of the property along with safety checks of power supplies to isolate any further damage. Ventilation of the home then removes trace of odour. Contents are assessed for renovation/removal and damaged surfaces are decontaminated and cleaned, neutralising odours.

A. During a fire the heat produced can reach thousands of degrees. The corrosive smoke produced is forced into every space and becomes trapped in porous materials, most surfaces will almost certainly suffer corrosion. Combustion will create chemical products that will be toxic long after fire is extinguished. During the fire, fumes and chemicals produced such as carbon monoxide are potentially fatal. It is essential that your home is decontaminated by a professional following a fire, you could be ricking your health if you don't.

A. Yes. A fire produces chemical residues during combustion. The combustion process releases harmful chemicals into the environment. In older buildings materials such as asbestos and mercury have fatal side effects when subjected to fire. These chemicals penetrate porous materials and surfaces within the building itself. Smoke particles can penetrate some places you probably didn't think of, such as your heating system. If left, they can remain for months in the atmosphere which can result in lung irritation and respiratory problems, a major reason for having a professional undertake the restoration work.

A. Given that each fire is individual and unique based on many different factors including location, time and combustibles, the damage caused and cost to restore is also variable. In order to limit these costs, it is essential that fire damage remediation commences as quickly as possible. The secondary damage caused to properties begins following the fire being extinguished and will cause costs to escalate if not stopped. Our swift response teams located across the UK can be on site speedily and act quickly and efficiently to ensure your losses are kept to a minimum and your home can be back to normal in a short space of time.

A. Our technicians are trained to the highest standards and are equipped to decontaminate fire and soot-damaged properties. We have been restoring, renovating and repairing domestic and commercial premises for over many years and have served hundreds of customers in across the UK, helping them get back to normal. We are trusted providers to many insurance companies who come highly recommend.

A. We operate across the UK with technicians available in major towns and cities. Our head office is based in Swaffham, Norfolk where we undertake all our training.

Tempest Restoration

Head Office
Unit 3 Jack Boddy Way Swaffham, Norfolk PE37 7HJ

Contact Tempest Restoration

Phone: 0845 052 4522
General enquiries:


Tempest Restoration is registered in England and Wales, Number 03559516
Registered office: 19 King Street, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1HB

Tempest Restoration BDMA RIA

© 2022 | Tempest Restoration | Terms | Privacy | Cookie Policy | Contact us | Website information & help