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For each year from 2017 to 2019, an estimated average of 2,300 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day. These fires caused an estimated annual average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $26 million in property loss.1
The average number of reported residential building fires on Thanksgiving Day was more than double (2.3 times more) the average number of fires in residential buildings on all other days. The average losses for these fires, however, were less than the same measures for non-Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. 2
|Loss measure||Thanksgiving Day fires||Non-Thanksgiving Day fires|
Cooking fires in residential buildings occurred more often on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. Cooking was, by far, the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings at 74% followed by heating at 8%. By comparison, cooking was the cause of 51% of residential building fires that occurred on all days of the year other than Thanksgiving. Source: NFIRS 5.0.
Note: Percent of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings with sufficient data to determine cause.
Over half (54%) of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occurred from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when many people are preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Fires then declined throughout the evening. This stands in contrast to the rest of the year, when residential building fires peaked during “normal” dinnertime hours of 5 to 8 p.m. Source: NFIRS 5.0.
Note: Total does not add up to 100% due to rounding.
In 75% of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings, the fire was limited to the object of origin. An additional 11% of these fires were limited to the room of origin. The remaining 14% of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings extended beyond the room of origin. Annually among all other residential building fires, 56% were limited to the object of origin, an additional 19% were limited to the room of origin, and the remaining 25% extended beyond the room of origin. Source: NFIRS 5.0.
75.45% Limited to object of origin
11.02% Limited to room of origin
2.55% Limited to floor of origin
9.33% Limited to building of origin
1.65% Beyond building of origin
Most Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings took place in 1- and 2-family dwellings (60%) followed by multifamily dwellings (33%). This is fairly comparable to non-Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings, with 1- and 2-family dwellings at 63%, multifamily dwellings at 29%, and other dwellings at 9%. 3 Source: NFIRS 5.0.
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Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Teach community members to cook safely by giving them information about cooking fire risks and how to prevent cooking fires.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Watch this 6 second video to see what a turkey fryer explosion looks like.