From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage from home fires during this period.
Facts and figures
During the five-year period of 2009-2013:
- Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
- On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day.
- Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
- More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
Source: NFPA's "Home Candle Fires" report, by Marty Ahrens, December 2015
Video: NFPA's Lisa Braxton shares a few candle fire safety tips to consider.