We all think it can’t happen to us; a house fire is unthinkable. However, it is estimated that around 300,000 residential fires happen every year in the United States. So, be aware of the most common causes of residential fires.
Cooking is the leading cause of home structure fires. These include range or cooktop, oven or rotisserie, microwave oven, portable cooking or warming unit and grill, hibachi or barbeque. In 2007-2011, cooking fires caused an average of 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 reported civilian fire injuries, and $853 million in direct property damage per year.
These types of fires usually involve refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers. In 2006-2010, an estimated 2,920 reported U.S. home structure fires involving kitchen equipment excluding cooking equipment resulted in annual averages of six civilian deaths, 82 civilian injuries, and $75 million in direct property damage.
Heating equipment fires are the second leading cause of fires. These include fireplace, chimney, chimney connector, space heater, central heating unit and water heater. Heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage in the year of 2011.
Most of these fires are started by children. An average of 7,100 home structure fires per year caused by play were reported between 2007 and 2011, causing annual averages of 77 civilian deaths, 750 civilian injuries, and $172 million in property damage.
Half (51%) of intentionally set home structure fires occurred between 3:00 p.m. and midnight. Lighters (27%) and matches (23%) were the most common heat source in intentional home fires. The most common area of origin in intentional home structure fires was the bedroom (12% of these fires).
In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines (including combination washer/dryers) resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries, and $236 million in direct property damage.
These fires caused an annual average of 115 civilian deaths, 903 civilian fire injuries, and $418 million in direct property damage. Christmas, New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve were the top three days for home candle fires.
These types of fires involve electrical failure or malfunction. In 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition.
Stats taken from NFPA.
After fire, smoke or soot damage has occurred, finding a qualified restoration contractor is key in expediting the process and ensuring correct action is taken. Incorrect actions can jeopardize the possibilities of restoring both structure and contents to their original state. Call Alert Disaster Restoration for all your fire, smoke and soot restoration needs. Give us a call at 1 (877) 435-8117.