NFPA’s new Home Structure Fires report shows that U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 366,600 home structure fires from 2007-2011.
Seven people died each day in U.S. home fires, on average, and older adults were the age group most likely to die in a home fire.
Cooking equipment remains the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries; however, smoking materials persist as the leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the report.
Roughly one in every 320 households per year had a reported home fire during this five-year period. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,570 civilian deaths, 13,210 civilian injuries, and $7.2 billion in direct property damage per year.
One-quarter (25 percent) of the home fire deaths resulted from fires that originated in the bedroom, another quarter (24 percent) from fires in the family room, living room, or den, and 16 percent from fires starting in the kitchen. Half of home fire deaths were caused by incidents reported between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
The home fire problem underscores the importance of early warning provided by smoke alarms and the protection provided by fire sprinklers. If you have a reported fire in your home, your risk of death decreases by 50% with working smoke alarms. Fire sprinklers sytems reduce the risk of fire death by 83%.
Fire sprinklers are intended to keep the fire in check and provide additional excape time from a fire in the home. Older adults, young children and persons with disabilities may need the additional time provided by fire sprinklers.
Download the home fire sprinkler impact fact sheet