Hotel and Motel Structure Fires

Report: NFPA's "Structure Fires in Hotels and Motels" (PDF, 2 MB)
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: September 2015

Overview of the fire problem in hotels and motels, including trend tables, causes, equipment involved, heat source, area of origin, item first ignited, extent of flame, time of day, day of week, month of year and selected published incidents. 


In 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,520 structure fires in hotels and motels each year. These fires resulted in annual losses of 9 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries, and $84 million in direct property damage. 

Cooking equipment was the leading cause of fires in hotels and motels, accounting for one-half of the fires. Heating equipment was responsible for 9% of fires and clothes dryers for 8% of fires. Smoking materials were involved in 8% of fires, but these fires were responsible for 75% of civilian deaths.

The leading area of origin for structure fires in hotels and motels is the kitchen, which is the location where two of every five fires (41%) started.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700