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Fire Estimate Summary • April 2021

Nonresidential Building Fire Causes (2010‑2019)

This fire estimate summary presents basic data on nonresidential building fire causes in the United States as depicted through data reported to the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA's) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). The summary also highlights important trends in the data.

National Estimates

The 2019 national estimates for the leading causes of nonresidential building fires show that there were:

  1. 33,200 cooking fires.
  2. 12,800 other unintentional, careless fires.
  3. 12,000 intentional fires.

Overall Trends

Overall trends in the leading fire causes for the 10-year period of 2010 to 2019 show the following:

  • Cooking as the leading cause of nonresidential building fires for the 10-year period.
  • A 39% increase in nonresidential cooking fires. This increase may be due to an NFIRS coding edit implemented in 2012.
  • A 59% increase in nonresidential other unintentionally or carelessly set fires.
  • A 31% increase in nonresidential intentionally set fires.

Leading Causes of Nonresidential Building Fires (2010‑2019)

2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
Cooking24200241002720027400290003090028900337003170033200
Other Unintentional, Careless8500840091008600100001090010700123001190012800
Intentional8500890097009100880098009000109001020012000
Electrical Malfunction7900780064007400800082007100820081008200
Heating6700620074008400900079007100760071007400