Cooking tops causes of residential fires: report

June 13, 2012

Emmitsburg, MD – Annually, from 2008 to 2010, fires in one- and two-family residences (.pdf file) resulted in more than 2,000 civilian deaths and 8,350 civilian injuries annually, while fires in multifamily structures (.pdf file) led to 400 civilian deaths and more than 4,000 injuries, according to two reports released in June by the U.S. Fire Administration.

Cooking was the leading cause of fires in both types of structures, causing 32 percent of all fires in one- and two-family residential buildings and 69 percent of fires in multifamily structures, the reports state. The peak season for fires in both types of structures was winter, particularly during dinner hours, according to a USFA press release.

Most of the one- and two-family residential building fires were larger fires that were not contained in pots, stoves or other containers, but fires in all other types of residential buildings were mostly small or contained fires, the reports concluded.