Report: NFPA's "Home Heating Fires"
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: January 2021
- Heating equipment is a leading cause of fires in U.S. homes. Local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 48,530 fires involving heating equipment each year in 2014-2018. These fires resulted in annual losses of 500 civilian deaths, 1,350 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.
- Heating equipment caused one in seven home structure fires (14%) that took place in 2014–2018 and 19% of home fire deaths.
- The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (25%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- Over half (54%) of the home heating fire deaths were caused by having heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.
- A vast majority of home heating fire deaths (81%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.
- Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in January, February, and December.
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