From 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries and $438 million in direct property damage. Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 5% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 6% of the direct property damage from home fires in 2010.
Facts and figures
During the five-year period of 2006-20010:
- Roughly one-third (35%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 42% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries.
- On average, 32 home candle fires were reported per day.
- Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 43% of the associated deaths.
- More than half (56%) 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 2012.