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2018 Fire Prevention Week Banner

Fast facts about fire

Home Fires
  • U.S. fire departments respond to an average of one home fire every 86 seconds.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires per year during 2011 to 2015. These fires caused 12,300 civilian injuries, 2,510 civilian deaths, and $6.7 billion in direct damage.
  • On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires per day.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
  • Smoking has been the leading cause of home fire deaths for decades.
  • Heating Equipment was involved in one of every five home fire deaths.
Smoke Alarms
  • Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional time to escape.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a reported home fire in half.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead. Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%).
  • Interconnected smoke alarms throughout the home increase safety. When one sounds, they all sound. It is especially important to have interconnected alarms if you sleep with the door closed.
Escape Planning
  • According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
  • While 71 percent of American have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47 percent of them have practiced it.
  • One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home became threatening. The time available is often less. And only eight percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.

 

Cooking
  • In 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 170,200 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment per year. These fires caused an average of 510 civilian deaths, 5470 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 466 home cooking fires per day in 2011-2015.
  • Cooking is tied for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to these fires. Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  • Ranges, or cooktops accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 13 percent.
  • More than half of all cooking fire injuries occurred when people tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for hone cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Easter, and Christmas.
Heating
  • In 2009-2013 U.S. fire departments responded to 56,000 home structure fires that involved heating equipment. These fires caused 470 civilian fire deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage.
  • The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was a failure to clean. This usually involved creosote buildup in chimneys.
  • Most home heating fire deaths (84%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.
  • Nearly half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January, and February.