USFA and NFPA Join Forces Again to Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

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USFA Press Office: (301) 447-1853

NFPA Press Office: (617) 984-7275

Emmitsburg, MD. – As we move closer to winter and home fire deaths begin to increase, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) remind everyone that fire safety and prevention are especially important in the coming months.  Because home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season, USFA and NFPA are once again jointly sponsoring a special initiative – Put a Freeze on Winter Fires – to help raise public awareness about winter fires.

“These fires are a painful reminder of what we see every year – the temperatures drop and fires increase,” said NFPA President Jim Shannon.  According to NFPA statistics, space heaters account for about one third of home heating fires and approximately 80 percent of the home heating fire deaths.

Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

The USFA’s Winter Residential Building Fires (PDF, 1Mb) report shows that each winter an estimated 108,400 residential building fires occur in the United States, resulting in 945 deaths, 3,825 injuries, and $1.7 billion in property loss.  Cooking is the leading cause of winter residential building fires at 36 percent followed by heating at 23 percent.  Winter residential building fires occur mainly in the early evening hours, peaking from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“The winter season brings the highest number of home fires, more than at any other time of year,” said USFA’s Deputy Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines.  “Home fires increase in part due to cooking and heating.  Winter storms can also interrupt electrical service and cause people to turn to alternative heating sources that contribute to the increased risk of fire during the winter months.”

Winter Fire Safety Tips

The USFA and NFPA recommend following these safety tips to prevent winter home fires:

“Winter fires are preventable,” Gaines emphasized.  “Everyone should find out what they need to know to prevent a tragedy and have a safe winter season.”

For more information about the causes of winter fires, winter storm fire safety, holiday fire safety, and tips that will help prevent the incidence of fire in the home, visit the USFA website at www.usfa.fema.gov/winter and the NFPA website at www.nfpa.org/winter.


The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.