Data snapshot: Halloween fires (2014-2016)

For each year from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 10,100 fires were reported to fire departments in the United States over a three-day period around Halloween and caused an estimated 30 deaths, 125 injuries and $102 million in property loss.1

Loss measures for Halloween and non-Halloween fires (three-year average, 2014-2016)

The average number of fatalities and injuries per 1,000 Halloween fires was slightly higher than the same loss measures for all other fires. The average dollar loss per Halloween fire was also slightly higher than per non-Halloween fire.2

Loss measureHalloween fires (Oct. 30- Nov. 1)Non-Halloween fires
Fatalities/1,000 fires
2.72.3
Injuries/1,000 fires
11.49.9
Dollar loss/fire
$10,580$9,870
Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) 5.0.

Halloween fires by general property type (2014-2016)

In terms of numbers of Halloween fires, the largest general property type category was outside fires (38 percent) followed by residential fires (32 percent). Residential Halloween fires, however, resulted in the most deaths (68 percent), injuries (79 percent) and property loss (51 percent). Source: NFIRS 5.0.

Halloween fires by time of alarm (2014-2016)

Halloween fires occurred most frequently in the late afternoon and early evening hours, peaking between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Fires then declined, reaching the lowest point during the early morning hours of 4-7 a.m. Source: NFIRS 5.0.

What causes most Halloween fires?

The leading causes of Halloween residential fires were: cooking (53 percent), heating (11 percent), other unintentional, careless actions (6 percent), and electrical malfunctions (6 percent). Source: NFIRS 5.0.

Cooking 53%
Heating 11%
Other unintentional, careless actions 6%
Electrical malfunctions 6%
Data snapshot: Halloween fires (2014-2016) PDF 183 KB

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Public service announcement: Halloween safety tips

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Candle flames and flammable costumes can be a dangerous combination. Share these safety tips with your community to ensure that Halloween is a safe holiday for everyone.

Sources: NFIRS and the National Fire Protection Association.

Notes:

  1. Halloween fires are defined as fires that occurred on Oct. 30, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Fires are defined by Incident Types 100-173 (all fires excluding Incident Type 110). Aid Types 3 (mutual aid given) and 4 (automatic aid given) were excluded to avoid double counting of incidents. Estimates of fires are rounded to the nearest 100, deaths to the nearest five, injuries to the nearest 25, and losses to the nearest million.
  2. The average loss measures computed from the NFIRS data alone will differ from the average loss measures computed from national estimates. Average loss for fatalities and injuries is computed per 1,000 fires. Average dollar loss is computed per fire and round to the nearest $10. The 2014 and 2015 dollar-loss values were adjusted to 2016 dollars.