Topical Fire Report Series December 2018 | Volume 19, Issue 8

Residential Building Electrical Fires (2014-2016)

It’s hard to imagine a home without electricity in the United States, but using it can have dangerous consequences. This report addresses the characteristics of home electrical fires from 2014 to 2016.

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At a Glance

From 2014 to 2016, an estimated
24,000
residential building electrical fires were reported to United States fire departments each year.

These fires caused an estimated:


310 deaths

850 injuries

$871 million in property loss

Residential building electrical fires resulted in over twice the dollar loss per fire than residential building nonelectrical fires did.

Residential building electrical fires occurred most often in one- and two-family dwellings (83 percent).

Residential building electrical fires occurred most often in the winter month of January (12 percent).


In only 17 percent of residential building electrical fires, the fire spread was limited to the object where the fire started.

Residential building electrical fires most often started in bedrooms (15 percent) and attics or vacant crawl spaces (13 percent).

These topical reports are designed to explore facets of the U.S. fire problem as depicted through data collected in the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information.