USFA: Heating fires decline in residential buildings

Emmitsburg, MA – Heating units such as fireplaces, chimneys and water heaters remain a top cause of residential building fires, according to a recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration.

An estimated 155 deaths, 625 injuries and $351 million in property damage resulted from about 45,200 heating fires in residential buildings reported to U.S. fire departments each year from 2010 to 2012, the report states.

Heating fires decreased to 45,200 in 2012 from 200,000 in 1983. Yet heating remains the second leading reported cause of residential fires behind cooking and accounts for 12 percent of residential fires.

Other findings in the report related to heating fires include:

  • 30 percent of fires occurred between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • 84 percent were confined fires (fires in chimneys, flues or fuel burners).
  • 29 percent were non-confined fires – the heat source was too close to combustibles.