Cooking fires are the #1 of home fires and home fire injuries.
In 2005, cooking equipment was involved in 146,400 reported home structure fires, the largest share for any major
cause. These fires resulted in 480 civilian deaths, 4,690 civilian injuries, and $876 million in direct property damage.
The majority of home fires – 40% – start in the kitchen.
Unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to ignition in home cooking fires, accounting for one-third of
such fires. More than half of all cooking fire injuries occurred when people tried to fight the fire themselves.
Most home cooking fires (67%) in 2005 started with the range or stove.
Electric ranges or stoves have a higher risk of fires, deaths, injuries and property damage, compared to gas ranges
Electrical distribution and lighting equipment were involved in an estimated 20,900 reported home fires in 2005.
These fires resulted in 500 civilian deaths and 1,100 injuries, with an estimated $862 million in direct property
damage per year.
Lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs accounted for the largest share of 2002-2005 non-confined fires among major
types of electrical distribution equipment, while cords and plugs accounted for the largest share of civilian fire
Extension cord fires outnumbered fires beginning with attached or unattached power cords by more than two-to-one.
Cords and plugs were involved in one-eighth (12%) of the 2002-2005 home electrical distribution and lighting
equipment fires, but roughly two-fifths (39%) of associated civilian deaths.
Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.
Roughly one of every four fire deaths per year in 2002-2005 was attributed to smoking materials.
In 2002-2005, there were an estimated 82,400 smoking-material fires per year in the United States. These fires
caused 800 civilian deaths and 1,660 civilian injuries.
Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from smoking-material fires even though they are less likely to
smoke than younger adults.
The most common material first ignited in home smoking-material fire deaths were mattresses and bedding and
In Canada, there were 7,700 fires in 2002 associated with smoking materials. These fires caused 140 civilian
deaths, 470 civilian injuries and direct property damage of $132 million Canadian ($84 million U.S.).
During 2005, an estimated 15,600 home structure fires started by candles were reported to local fire departments.
These fires resulted in an estimated 150 civilian deaths, 1,270 civilian injuries and an estimated direct property loss
of $539 million. Homes include dwellings, duplexes, manufactured housing and apartments.
Although home candle fires fell 8% from 2004 to 2005, more than twice as many were reported in 2005 as in 1990.
Candle fires accounted for an estimated 4% of all reported home fires in 2005.
The top five days for home candle fires were Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and