United States 2015 Home Fire Facts


     Home Fire Deaths

   -  Facts have shown that half of all home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.. Also it has been found that only one in five home fires were reported during these hours.
   -  An important fact is that one-quarter of all home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom.
   -  Another quarter of all fire deaths resulted from fires that were started in the living room, family room or den.
   -  Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that were not working.
   -  In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage.
   -  On the average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
   -  The leading cause of home fire injuries is cooking equipment. The second cause of home fire injuries are heating equipment.
   -  Smoking materials have been found to be the leading cause of home fire deaths.
   -  Fatal fires kill one or two people.
   -  Between 2010-2014, approximately, one of every 338 households reported a home fire per year.

     Fire Escape Planning

   -  Unfortunately according to an National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
   -  Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; unexpectedly less than half practice it.

   -  One-third of the NFPA survey respondents who have an estimate plan believe that they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening.
   -  Facts show that the time available is frequently less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm they would have to get out of the house!

     Smoke Alarms

   -  Three out of five home fire deaths between 2010-2014 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
   -  Working smoke alarms are very important. It has been found that the working smoke alarms decrease the risk of fire deaths, in reported home fires, in half.
   -  In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, 94% of the time hardwired alarms functioned, while battery powered alarms only functioned 80% of the time.
   -  It has been found that when smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
   -  Importantly an ionization smoke alarm is more often than not more responsive to flaming fires. A photoelectric smoke alarm is in general more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to wake or/or assist others, both types of smoke alarms, or the combination ionization/photoelectric alarms are recommended.


   -  Between 2010-2014 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 166,100 home cooking-related fires that resulted in 480 civilian deaths, 5,540 civilian injuries and $1.1 billion in direct damage.
   -  Two of every five (43%) home fires started in the kitchen.
   -  Unattended cooking is very dangerous. They have been seen as a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires.
   -  Two-thirds of all home cooking fires have been started due to the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
   -  Ranges caused three of every five (62%) home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 13%.
   -  Children under the age of five years old face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking and hot food and drinks than being hurt in a cooking fire.
   -  During 2014 children under the age of five accounted for 30% of the 4,300 microwave oven scald burns seen in hospital emergency rooms.
   -  Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires. Surprisingly these incidents accounted for 18% of the cooking fire deaths.
   -  Over half of people injured in home fires involving cooking equipment were found to be hurt while attempting to fight the fire themselves.
   -  The leading activity associate with cooking fires is frying.



   -  Failure to clean the heating equipment has been found to be the leading factor contributing to a fire. It has been found that this usually involved creosote build-up in chimneys.
   -  Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in two of every five (40%) of home heating fires and accounted for 84% of the home heating deaths.
   -  Over half (56%) of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
   -  In most years, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries.

     Home Fire Sprinklers

   -  If you have a reported fire and sprinklers in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent.
   -  It has been found that sprinklers reduce direct property damage by about 70 percent per fire.
   -  Research shows that when sprinklers were present during a fire, the fire is kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
   -  Approximately 85 percent of the time, just one sprinkler operates during a fire
   -  Each individual sprinkler is designed and calibrated to go off only when it senses a significant heat change.
   -  During a fire only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate. It will spray water directly on the fire.