USFA releases report on residential fires

Emmitsburg, MD – From 2007 to 2009, fire departments responded to an estimated 374,900 fires in residential buildings each year, according to a report (.pdf file) released Sept. 30 by the U.S. Fire Administration. These fires resulted in an annual average loss of 2,630 deaths, 13,075 injuries and $7.6 billion in property loss, the report said.

Additional information from the report:

  • Cooking is the leading cause of residential building fires (44 percent).
  • Residential building fire incidence is higher during cooler months, peaking in January at 11 percent.
  • 46 percent of non-confined residential building fires extend beyond the room of origin. The leading causes of these fires are electrical malfunctions (16 percent), unintentional or careless actions (15 percent), intentional acts (12 percent), and open flame (11 percent).
  • Smoke alarms were not present in 21 percent of the non-confined fires in occupied residential buildings.

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