Candle Fire Numbers Begin To Fall
NFPA Journal®, January/February 2007
Compiled by John Nicholson
During 2004, candles in U.S. homes caused an estimated 17,200 reported structure fires, 200 civilian deaths, 1,540 civilian injuries, and $200 million in estimated direct property damage. (Homes include one and two-family dwellings, apartments and manufactured housing.)
The number of reported home candle fires has begun to fall after climbing steadily from 1990 to 2001. From 1980, the first year of available data, to 1990, these fires had been falling. The year 2002 was the first since 1995 that has not been a new high. Even so, the 17,200 fires reported in 2004 is two and-a-half times the 6,800 reported in 1990. From 2003 to 2004, these fires fell 6 percent.
Partly because total home fires have declined so much since 1980 and partly because candle fires have increased in recent years, the share of home structure fires (including confined fires) started by candles jumped from 1 percent in the early 1980s to 5-6 percent in 1999-2003. The share fell to 4 percent in 2004.