NFPA releases report on home fires

Published:  04 July, 2011

Cooking equipment and smoking materials remain the biggest dangers.

The US fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 373,900 home structure fires from 2005-2009 according to new research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). According to the report, cooking fires remain the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries and smoking materials continue to be the leading cause of home fire deaths.

During the five-year period covered by the report, 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 UShome 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 US 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.

Top ten fire safety tips from NFPA: 

Watch your cooking
Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

Give space heaters space
Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.

Smoke outside
Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.

Keep matches and lighters out of reach
Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.

Inspect electrical cords
Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.

Be careful when using candles
Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.

Have a home fire escape plan
Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

Install smoke alarms
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

Test smoke alarms
Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace conventional batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.

Install sprinklers
If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

Optical flame and open path gas detectors

Spectrex Inc. is a world leader in optical flame and combustible gas detection with over 30 years experience.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Calendar