Statistical Reports: Cooking Fires

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Topical Fire Report Series

The National Fire Data Center's Topical Fire Report Series explores facets of the U.S. fire problem that affect Americans in their daily lives. Primarily based on data collected through USFA's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), each issue briefly addresses the nature and relevance of the specific fire or fire-related problem, highlights important findings, and suggests other resources to consider for further information. Each topical report also includes recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report.

New: Cooking Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010)

Findings from this report:

  • On average, an estimated 164,500 cooking fires in residential buildings occur each year in the United States.
  • Cooking was, by far, the leading cause of all residential building fires and injuries.
  • Residential building cooking fires occurred mainly in the evening hours from 4 to 9 p.m., peaking from 5 to 8 p.m., accounting for 26 percent of the fires.
  • Residential building cooking fires peaked in November at 10 percent and declined to the lowest point during the summer months from June to August.
  • Confined fires, those fires involving the contents of a cooking vessel without fire extension beyond the vessel, accounted for 94 percent of residential building cooking fires.
  • Oil, fat and grease (51 percent) were the leading types of material ignited in nonconfined cooking fires in residential buildings.

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