Hoe voorkom je huisbranden? De belangrijkste oorzaken en preventiemaatregelen

How to prevent house fires? The main causes and prevention measures

A house fire can not only cause material damage but also endanger lives. Fortunately, many house fires can be prevented by being aware of the most common causes and taking preventive measures. In this blog post, we discuss the main causes of house fires and provide practical tips to prevent them.

1. Electrical Appliances and Installations

Faulty or overloaded electrical appliances and installations are one of the biggest causes of house fires. This can range from old wiring to overloaded power strips. Electrical malfunctions can lead to short circuits, which can cause fires.

Prevention Tips:

  • Have electrical installations regularlychecked by a professional to ensure they meetsafety standards.
  • Do not use damaged cables or plugs, as they pose an increased risk of short circuit.
  • Avoid overloading power strips and extension cords by not connecting too many appliances at the same time. Use a powerstrip with built-in surge protection if necessary.

2. Kitchen Fires

Kitchen fires often occur due to negligence while cooking, such as forgetting a pan on the stove or using too much oil. Grease fires can be particularly dangerous as they can quickly get out of control.

Prevention Tips:

  • Always stay near the stove when you are cooking.
  • Keep flammable materials like dish towels and kitchen paper away from the stove.
  • Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself of pans on the stove.
  • Consider having a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher in the kitchen to quickly deal with a grease fire.

3. Smoking

Smoking in the house, especially in bed, is a common cause of house fires. Smoldering cigarettes can easily start a fire if they come into contact with flammable materials like bedding or furniture.

Prevention Tips:

  • Do not smoke in bed or other places where you might fall asleep.
  • Use sturdy, non-flammable ashtrays and make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished before discarding them.
  • Consider smoking outside to minimize the risk of fire inside the house.

4. Candles

Candles can create a cozy atmosphere, but they also pose a fire risk if left unattended or placed too close to flammable materials. A knocked-over candle can quickly start a fire..

Prevention Tips:

  • Place candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface to prevent them from falling over.
  • Keep candles away from curtains, paper, and other flammable materials.
  • Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed. Use a candle snuffer instead of blowing to prevent splashing of melted wax.

5. Chimneys and Wood Stoves

Chimney fires often result from the buildup of creosote, a flammable tar-like substance that accumulates in the chimney. Inadequate maintenance can lead to dangerous situations.

Prevention Tips:

  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year by a professional to remove creosote buildup.
  • Only use dry, untreated wood in your wood stove to minimize creosote formation.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation while burning to exhaust smoke and harmful gases. Install a carbon monoxide detector near the stove for added safety.

6. Dryers

Dryers can cause fires due to the buildup of lint in the filter or ventilation openings. Overheating due to poor air circulation is a common problem.

Prevention Tips:

  • Clean the lint filter after every use.
  • Have the dryer’s ventilation openings regularly checked and cleaned.
  • Do not use the dryer when you are not at home or asleep..

7. Heating Devices

Old or faulty heating devices can overheat and cause fires.

Prevention Tips:

  • Have heating devices checked and maintained annually by a professional to ensure they operate safely and efficiently.
  • Keep flammable materials away from heating devices.
  • Do not use extension cords for electric heaters, as they can overheat. Plug them directly into an outlet.

8. Barbecues

Barbecues can cause fires if used too close to flammable materials or if not properly turned off. Flames and sparks can easily ignite nearby objects.

Prevention Tips:

  • Use barbecues at a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials.
  • Keep a bucket of water, a garden hose, or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure the barbecue is completely cooled before storing it.

9. Arson

Arson, both intentional and accidental, is a significant cause of house fires.

Prevention Tips:

  • Ensure good outdoor lighting and security cameras to deter potential arsonists. A well-lit area is less attractive to vandals.
  • Keep flammable materials like wood and paper away from your house.
  • Report any suspicious activities to the police immediately..

10. Children and Fire

Children playing with matches, lighters, or other flammable materials can accidentally start fires.

Prevention Tips:

  • Keep matches, lighters, and other flammable materials out of children's reach. Store them in a safe, locked place.
  • Teach children about the dangers of fire and what to do in case of a fire.
  • Ensure children are always supervised when near fire, such as at a campfire or barbecue.


Preventing house fires starts with awareness and taking preventive measures. By paying attention to the most common causes of fire and following the tips above, you can significantly improve the safety of your home and family. Invest in good smoke detectors, maintain your equipment, and always be alert to potential fire hazards. Safety begins with you!