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Home Structure Fires Involving Decorations

Report: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires Involving Decorations"
Author: Marty Ahrens

Issued: December 2017



Report highlights

  • In 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 840 home1 structure fires that began with decorations per year.  
  • Decoration fires caused an annual average of:
    • 2 civilian fire deaths,
    • 36 civilian fire injuries, and 
    • $11.4 million in direct property damage.
  • Candles started more than one-third (36%) of home decoration structure fire.  Cooking equipment started one of every five (19%) incidents.
  • The decoration was too close to a heat source such as a candle or equipment in two of every five (42%) fires.
  • One-fifth (19%) of the home decoration fires occurred in December.  Eleven percent were in January.
  • More than half (55%) of the December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to one-third (32%) in January to November.
More information

Home Structure Fires That Began with Decorations by Leading Causes

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