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Report: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment"
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: November 2015

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.

Report highlights

  • In 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 162,400 home1 structure fires that involved cooking equipment per year. This represents 45% of home structure fires, and 33% of all structure fires. 
  • Cooking equipment was involved in an annual average of:
    • 430 civilian fire deaths, or one of every six (17%) home fire deaths,
    • 5,400 civilian fire injuries, or two of every five (42%) reported home fire injuries, and
    • $1.1 billion in direct property damage, or 15% of total direct damage in home structure fires.
  • Ranges or cooktops, with or without ovens, accounted for the majority (61%) of home cooking fire incidents and even larger shares of civilian deaths (86%).
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires and fire deaths.
  • More than half (54%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
1Homes include one- or two-family homes and apartments or other multi-family housing.

Home cooking equipment fires 2009-2013