The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today released the most recent “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment” report, detailing national statistics from 2007 to 2011. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. It is responsible for two of every five reported home fires and is the leading cause of home fire injuries. The top three days for cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. NFPA urges cooks to pay attention to fire safety throughout the year and to be especially cautious during the holidays due to the increased risk.
“The number of cooking fires is three times the average on Thanksgiving and more than one and a half times the averages on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of outreach and advocacy. “As people go to great lengths to prepare holiday meals, following a few basic safety tips when cooking will reduce their chances of having a fire.”
Data from the studied time period shows that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 156,600 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment per year. These fires caused an average of 400 civilian fire deaths, 5,080 civilian fire injuries, and $853 million in direct property damage.
“Most home fires happen when cooking is left unattended,” added Carli. “Be sure to stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you are simmering, baking roasting or broiling food, remain in the home.”
Other key findings from the report:
· Overall, cooking equipment caused 43 percent of reported home fires, 38 percent of home fire injuries, 16 percent of home fire deaths, and 12 percent of the direct property damage in reported home fires during this period.
· Cooking is the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
· Households that use electric ranges have a higher risk of fires and associated losses than those using gas ranges.
· Ranges, with or without ovens, accounted for the majority (57 percent) of home cooking fire incidents and even larger shares of civilian deaths (86 percent).
For more information, safety tips and statistics, please visit http://www.nfpa.org/cooking.