Two of the bombings involved devices attached to cars outside the homes of senior police officers, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported. No deaths were reported from either blast, but at least 21 people were injured.
In the center of the city, a civilian died when he got into his car, which had been rigged with explosives.
Neither of the senior police officers was at home when the bombs went off, officials said. The injured included five women, three children and four police officers.
Kirkuk, 147 miles north of Baghdad, is ethnically divided among Arabs, Kurds and other groups. The city is in the midst of a major oil field.