Report: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment"
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: November 2016
This report examines causes and circumstances of home cooking fires that were reported to local fire departments in the U.S. Additional details are provided about fires involving range or cooktops. Cooking-related burns, including cooking scalds and burns caused by contact with hot cooking equipment, are also discussed. Previously published descriptions of cooking fires are included to illustrate how these fires can occur.
- In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 166,100 home1 structure fires that involved cooking equipment per year. Almost half (46%) of reported home structure fires were caused by cooking.
- Cooking equipment was involved in an annual average of:
- 480 civilian fire deaths, or one of every six (19%) home fire deaths,
- 5,540 civilian fire injuries, or more than two of every five (44%) reported home fire injuries, and
- $1.1 billion in direct property damage, or 17% of total direct damage in home structure fires.
- Ranges or cooktops, with or without ovens, accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents and even larger shares of civilian deaths (88%).
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires and fire deaths.
- More than half (55%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.