Home » Cooking, smoking still cause most home fires, acc. to report (6/30)
Cooking fires remain the leading cause of home fires and injuries, while smoking materials continue to be the leading cause of home fire deaths, according to new research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
During the five-year period covered by the report, 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 373,900 home structure fires. Roughly one in every 310 households per year had a reported home fire. Each year, these fires caused an estimated average of 2,650 civilian deaths, 12,890 civilian injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage. On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires every day.
One-quarter of the home fire deaths resulted from fires that originated in the bedroom, 24% from fires in the family room, living room, or den, and 15% from fires starting in the kitchen. Though only 20% of reported fires occurred between the hours of 11:00 pm and 7:00 am, half of the deaths were caused by fires reported during this time.
“These statistics are a sad reminder that fire is still a deadly threat and we must do more to prevent the needless deaths and losses,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Properly installed and maintained fire protection devices, such as smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers, can help to prevent most fire deaths.”
Almost two-thirds (62%) of home fire deaths resulted from fires in which no smoke alarms were present at all (38%) or smoke alarms were present but did not operate (24%). The report also referenced John Hall’s recent report, U.S. Experience with Sprinklers, which found that having wet pipe sprinkler systems in the home reduces chances of dying in a fire by 83%.
The report is based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) annual fire department experience survey.
Among the articles in the March 2021 issue of ISHN magazine, we discuss fall prevention in regards to the musculoskeletal system, look into building a culture of safety, learn about NFPA 652 compliance and consider advancements in materials manufacturing.