As we hunker in for the winter, I got to wondering about house fires and what causes them. Here’s what I found from the National Fire Protection Association.
There were a lot of fires. From 2013-2017, “US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 354,400 home structure fires per year. These fires caused an annual average of 2,620 civilian deaths; 11,220 civilian fire injuries; and $6.9 billion in direct property damage” (p4).
Fire departments estimate that the average reported property damage for 2018 was about $22,000, though, the information on property damage may be less reliable as it depends on amounts directly reported to fire departments. Still, $22,000 is a lot. And that’s an average.
So, what cause all those fires? Check out this chart from page five of the report. By far, the leading cause of fires was cooking. Heating equipment and electrical lighting were next. Finally, were chimney fires and space heater fires.
Next up. We’ll talk more details about cooking and space heater fires.