Top Fire Causes (part 2 Heating)
By Member Michael Barney
January 20, 2023

The number two most common cause of home fires is Heating. Local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 44,210 fires involving heating equipment per year in 2016-2020, accounting for 13% of all reported home fires during this time. These fires resulted in annual losses of 480 civilian deaths, 1,370 civilian injuries, and more than $1 billion in direct property damage.

Based on 2016-2020 annual averages:

- Space heaters were the type of heating equipment responsible for the largest shares of losses in home heating equipment fires,
accounting for one-third of the fires, but nearly nine out of ten deaths and four out of five of the injuries in home fires caused by heating
- Fires originating in a kitchen or cooking area accounted for the largest share of home heating fires (17%).
- While the larger (non-confined) fires involving fireplaces or chimneys were involved in fewer than one in ten fires caused by heating
equipment (7%), they caused just over one-fifth of the direct property damage (22%).
- Nearly half of the heating equipment fires (46%) occurred in the three-month period from December through February.

Give your heater some safe space. Don't place anything on, in front of, or near a heater. Check out the attached PDFs below for tips on heater fire safety.

Attachment Heating_Safety.pdf  (1,024k)
Attachment PortableFireplaceSafety.pdf  (462k)
Attachment PortableHeaterSafety.pdf  (404k)