Report: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment"
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: November 2015
Analysis of patterns and trends in all measures of fire loss for all types of home cooking equipment and all fuel and power types, including leading causes of ignition and analysis of relative risks. Also provides safety tips and published home cooking fire incidents.
Cooking has long been the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, as well as one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. National estimates of reported fires derived from the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey show that in 2009-2013, cooking was the leading cause of reported home structure fires and home structure fire injuries and the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 162,400 home structure fires involving cooking equipment per year. These fires caused an annual average of 430 civilian deaths, 5,400 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage. Overall, cooking equipment was involved in 45% of reported home fires, 17% of home fire deaths and 42% of reported home fire injuries. Ranges, with or without ovens, account for the majority (61%) of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment and even larger shares of associated civilian deaths (86%) and civilian injuries (78%). Unattended equipment is the leading cause of cooking fires. More than half (54%) of non-fatal civilian cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
The findings show that cooking fires remain a serious problem. Efforts to prevent these fires through new technology and life safety education must continue.