Safety Tip

Be on the alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't use the stove or stovetop. Download NFPA's free safety tips sheet on cooking safety.

In 2011, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,300 home structure fires that were reported to U.S. fire departments. These fires caused 470 deaths, 5,390 injuries and $1.0 billion in direct property damage. Cooking caused 43% of reported home fires, 16% of home fire deaths, 38% of home fire injuries, and 12% of the direct property damage in home fires in 2011.

Video: Just a few simple safety tips can protect you and your family from a potentially devastating home fire.

Facts & figures

Based on 2007-2011 annual averages:

  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 15% of the cooking fire deaths.
  • Ranges accounted for the largest share (57%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
  • More than half (55%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report

*Homes include one- and two-family homes, apartments (regardless of ownership), and manufactured housing.

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