Report: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment"
Author: John R. Hall, Jr.
Issued: October 2013
Analysis of patterns and trends in all measures of fire loss for all types of home heating equipment and all fuel and power types, including leading causes of ignition.
In 2011, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage. The estimated home heating fire total was down 6% from the previous year and 77% from 1980. Associated deaths were down 19% from 2010 and down 60% from 1980. Associated civilian injuries were down by less than 1% compared to 2010 but down 57% from 1980. Direct property damage adjusted for inflation was down 19% from 2010 and down 57% from 1980. "Homes" refers to one- and two-family homes (which include manufactured homes) and apartments (which include townhouses and other multi-family housing).
Overall in 2011, these incidents accounted for 14% of all reported home fires (second highest after cooking), 16% of home fire deaths (now third highest after smoking and cooking), 11% of home civilian injuries (second highest after cooking), and 13% of the direct property damage (one of several causes with similar shares) resulting from home fires. These statistics are estimates derived from Version 5.0 of the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System and NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey.
Stationary (fixed) and portable space heaters, excluding fireplaces, chimneys, and chimney connectors, but including wood stoves, accounted for one-third (33%) of reported 2007-2011 U.S. home heating fires, four out of five (81%) associated civilian deaths, more than two-thirds (70%) of associated civilian injuries, and half (51%) of associated direct property damage.