Careless handling of fire: responsibility and causes of fires

Careless handling of open flame sources is one of the most common causes of fires in various places - from rooms in multi-storey (private) residential buildings to production workshops that have a fire and explosion hazard category.

Unlike technical reasons that lead to fire, for example, due to illiterate installation, operation of electrical wiring, technological reasons - due to improper process management, careless handling of fire sources is based on human mistakes - ignorance of fire safety rules, negligence and addictions.

Causes of fires due to careless handling of fire


The most serious fires in terms of the scale of destruction and the amount of direct (indirect) damage due to carelessness when handling fire occur in industries where expensive technological equipment and control equipment are installed; at warehouse facilities where inventory items are concentrated.

The shortcomings of both minimum fire safety training and low professional qualifications, lack of control on the part of managers, specialists of engineering and technical services, and poor discipline of workers lead to the following incidents:

  1. Carrying out fire hazardous work in areas of production workshops that are not prepared (not cleared) of combustible materials without issuing work permits for performing hot work.
  2. Checking with torches and burning paper the presence and strength of air draft in the ducts of ventilation systems.
  3. Warming frozen soil with fires without the knowledge that underground electrical routes or pipelines, including those with flammable liquids, pass under this place.

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Causes of fires

Examples and statistics

  1. I will heat with blowtorches, torches, sections of pipeline utilities, shut-off valves on process tanks, tanks, regardless of fire safety requirements at gas stations, oil and petroleum product warehouses.
  2. Smoking outside specially designated areas, which is a gross violation of the “Fire Safety Rules in the Russian Federation.” When smoking in such unprepared conditions, unextinguished cigarettes end up in dry grass, wood waste, and other flammable debris, which often leads to the appearance of fires that develop into fires.

In addition to negligence in the workplace, unfortunately, many both poorly educated and overconfident adults; The younger generation, to whom no one, perhaps to their misfortune, wants to explain the basics of fire safety, behave similarly at home.

At home

A person, being at home, subconsciously feels safe, and is often capable of very dangerous manipulations with sources of open fire:

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Open fire

Definition and Use

  • Smoking wherever you please - on the sofa in the living room, in the bed in the bedroom, without thinking at all that you can easily fall asleep from fatigue, the late time of day, often from alcohol intoxication, and never wake up again.
  • When smoking on the balcony, throw unextinguished cigarettes to the will of gravity and the wind, which sometimes brings potential sources of ignition into the rooms of neighboring apartments, on loggias, where many owners store a lot of combustible things, which often leads to fires and deaths.
  • Fold, throw out seemingly extinguished cigarette butts anywhere, including in trash cans, trash cans, bags made of combustible materials, cigarette boxes, matches.
  • Carelessly handle the gas heater for heating water, the stove for cooking - do not carry out maintenance on time, leave burning burners, burners for a long time completely unattended, hoping for automatic shutdown,
  • Heat vegetable oils and animal fats, which can lead to fire.
  • Dry clothes over an open fire.
  • Use pyrotechnic products at home.
  • Burn grass, combustible garbage, make fires on the territory of a private household or summer cottage.
  • Install candles on combustible bases, next to flammable materials, substances, or not securely fasten them, which can lead to a fall or fire.
  • When turning off electric lighting, use open flame sources.

The incorrect use of heating stoves and fireplaces in practice is closely intertwined with careless handling of open fire - this is ignition using flammable (combustible) liquids, despite the fire hazard of oil and petroleum products, gasoline; not completely closed firebox doors, storing firewood under them.

Children's prank

Lack of attention from parents and teachers often leads to the fact that children's games become too dangerous. This also applies to the understandable interest of every person in the fascinating process of the origin and development of the “fire flower”.

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Children's prank with fire

Cause of fire and consequences

But it’s one thing when this process occurs under close supervision, the guidance of older relatives, teachers, instructors on a picnic, on a hike; Another thing is when children, having taken matches or a lighter at home without asking, begin to experiment on their own:

  • Set fire to poplar fluff, dry leaves, and grass.
  • Make fires in places absolutely unsuitable for this event - in basements, technical floors, attics; near stored combustible materials, including where security and fire safety at construction sites are poorly organized.
  • Use pyrotechnic products independently, which leads not only to fires, but also to serious injuries and burns.

Therefore, early training in life safety in the school curriculum on the correct handling of fire is a necessity to give children the necessary skills and instill prohibitions.

In the forest

Cases when, due to negligence, inattention, and simply a disregard for the stupidity of people who behave as “masters of life” in forests, destructive fires arise that destroy thousands of hectares of forest area - this, unfortunately, is not uncommon.

Main reasons:

  • Lighting fires in unprepared areas, including those not cleared of combustible forest debris, under the canopy of trees.
  • Leaving fires unextinguished.
  • Ignition of fires, barbecues, flammable liquids, and gas liquids.
  • Smoking in the forest, throwing matches and cigarette butts.

In addition to city dwellers vacationing outside the city, hunters also make their sad contribution by using wads for cartridges made of flammable materials capable of smoldering.

Arbitrage practice

Let's consider an example of the application of Article 219. As a result of a short circuit in the wiring, a house burned down in the village of Sylva, Perm Region. There were two children inside. Both died. Shortly before the incident, the premises were inspected by State Fire Service officers, who warned the tenant (the mother of the children who subsequently died) that violations of fire safety regulations must be eliminated immediately. The woman did not take the prescribed actions. At the trial, she was found guilty under Part 2 of Article 219.

In some cases, awareness of one's guilt and reconciliation with the victim can significantly reduce the sentence. Thus, in the Rostov region, a man, being drunk, burned the house of his partner with all her property out of spite (Part 2 of Article 167). Having sobered up, he admitted his guilt, made peace with the victim and compensated for the damage. The court replaced the 2 years of imprisonment imposed on him with a suspended sentence for a period of 3 years.

The following video will tell you about other, no less interesting cases from judicial practice regarding arson:

Examples and statistics

Cases of carelessness of people when handling open fire are constantly demonstrated throughout the country by the media - children receive severe burns from their own pranks; Summer cottages, villages, agricultural lands, and forests burn out from grass burning and fires lit by adults.

After performing gas welding and other hot work, as a result of the lack of control over the places where the work was carried out, fires appear, which at night is almost guaranteed to lead to the development of the combustion process in the presence of a fire load.

Due to careless handling of gas equipment, including checking for leaks in pipelines with open fire, explosions and fires occur.

A huge number of fires caused by the careless use of open fire is confirmed by official statistics. So, in 2022, this is 37 thousand 195 fires (132074) or 28.2% of the total.

What to do in case of fire at home

To reduce fire damage, you need to know what to do in the event of a fire. The algorithm of actions depends on what caused the fire.


Fire in the apartment

If there is a fire in the apartment, you need to act as follows:

  1. Call the fire department.
  2. Evacuate people from a hot house.
  3. If possible, you should try to put out the fire before firefighters arrive. The fireplace can be covered with a blanket or covered with sand.
  4. Use cloth dressings moistened with water.
  5. De-energize the room.
  6. Close windows and doors, as well as cracks. This is done to prevent oxygen from getting inside, which increases the fire.
  7. Do not extinguish electrical wiring or live household appliances, as well as burning liquids, with water.

Responsibility and consequences

In addition to major material damage to real estate and citizens' property, fires caused by carelessness when handling fire claim many human lives, including family members of the perpetrators; lead to burns, injuries, and illnesses of other people.

The state, protecting citizens, investigates every fire, conducting an inquiry and investigation in order to determine material damage, accurately establish the cause of occurrence, the presence or absence of a culprit.

If the guilty person, including due to careless handling of an open fire, is identified by the inquiry/investigation bodies, then liability arises as provided for by the legislation of the Russian Federation. Depending on the consequences of the fire, this may be either a fine or criminal punishment.

Article on the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation

When the cause of the fire is established, the person at fault is established, but the damage is insignificant, then such actions fall under Article 20.4 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, which provides for fines in the form of an administrative liability measure for violations of fire safety requirements that led to a fire:

  • Destruction or damage to someone else's property, or causing minor or moderate harm to health: for citizens from 4-5 thousand rubles, for officials - 40-50 thousand rubles, for legal entities - 350-400 thousand rubles.
  • Causing serious harm or death: for legal entities 600 thousand to 1 million rubles. or administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days.

Article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

According to Article 168 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on the destruction or damage of someone else's property on a large scale as a result of negligence when handling fire, the court requires the person responsible for causing the fire to fully compensate for losses incurred for this reason, or punishes:

  • A fine of up to 120 thousand rubles, or the salary/other income of the convicted person for a period of up to 1 year;
  • or compulsory work for a period of up to 480 hours;
  • or correctional labor for up to 2 years;
  • or restriction of freedom for up to 1 year;
  • or forced labor for up to 1 year;
  • or imprisonment for up to 1 year.

If people died in a fire, then the actions of the perpetrators fall under Article 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation:

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Statistics, reasons and responsibility

  • Causing death by negligence: correctional labor/restriction of freedom/forced labor/imprisonment – ​​for up to 2 years. One of the options by court decision.
  • Causing death by negligence due to improper performance by the guilty person of his professional duties: restriction of freedom for up to 3 years, or forced labor for up to 3 years with or without deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions/activities for up to 3 years, or imprisonment for up to 3 years also with or without deprivation of the right to hold positions/activities.
  • Causing death by negligence of 2 or more persons: restriction of freedom for up to 4 years, or forced labor for up to 4 years, or imprisonment for up to 4 years with deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions/activities for up to 3 years or without this prohibition.

The last two paragraphs of the article fully apply to facility managers responsible for industrial safety who were negligent in the performance of their duties.


To prevent the situation from reaching such extremes, it is necessary:

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Fire prevention and its tasks

  • Actively conduct fire prevention propaganda, train adults - at the place of work, conducting instructions on fire safety, training in fire safety equipment; children - from 1st grade according to life safety programs.
  • Prohibit entry into forest areas during fire danger periods to ensure fire safety in forests.
  • Report to the media about fires that occurred due to careless handling of open fire.

The main thing is that everyone needs to have self-discipline, not to commit rash actions in any cases related to fire - from the need to put out a match, cigarette, fire to compliance with safety rules when performing hot work in production.


Having noticed the first signs of smoke, regardless of identifying the source of ignition, you need to:

  • urgently call the fire department;
  • remove children, elderly and sick people from the premises;
  • protect the respiratory system with a damp bandage;
  • turn off the electricity in the panel;
  • start extinguishing the flame using water taps, directing the stream along its lower part.

To extinguish flammable mixtures, it is recommended to use a thick, heavy cloth or a fire extinguisher. A burning electrical wire must be extinguished with a powder fire extinguisher. Windows and doors should not be opened so that the flow of air does not cause the spread of fire. If it is impossible to eliminate the fire, you should leave the apartment, closing the door and reporting the fire to the fire service and neighbors living on the floor below and above.

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