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USFA releases report on smoking-related fires

September 30, 2010

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An estimated 9,000 smoking-related fires occur in residential buildings every year in the United States, according to a U.S. Fire Administration report (.pdf file) released last week.

Using 2006-2008 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System, USFA found that smoking-related fires cause an average 450 deaths, 1,025 injuries and $303 million in property loss every year.

Although smoking fires account for only 2 percent of all residential building fires, they account for 17 percent of all deaths, making them the deadliest type of fire. Smoking fires that occur in the early morning and late evening hours result in the highest number of fatalities.

An estimated 67 percent of smoking fires occurred as a result of abandoned or discarded smoking materials, with the bedroom being the most common location for fire origination.

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