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Report: NFPA's "Home Candle Fires"
Marty Ahrens
Issued: December 2017



Report highlights 

  • In 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,690 home1 structure fires that were started by candles per year.  Candles caused 2% of home structure fires.
    • Candle fires caused an annual average of:
    • 82 civilian fire deaths, or 3% of home fire deaths,
    • 800 civilian fire injuries, or 7% of reported home fire injuries, and
    • $295 million in direct property damage, or 4% of total direct damage in home structure fires.
  • More than one-third (37%) of home candle fires began in the bedroom, although the National Candle Association found that only 13% of candle users burn candles in the bedroom most often.
  • Three of every five (58%) candle fires started when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations, was too close to the candle.
  • In 16% of the fires, the candles were unattended or abandoned.
  • The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

1Homes include one- or two-family homes and apartments or other multi-family housing.

More information

Home candle fires by leading areas of origin and time of year

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