Heating equipment is a leading cause of fires in U.S. homes. Local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment each year in 2012-2016, accounting for 15% of all reported home fires during this time. These fires resulted in annual losses of 490 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage.
Facts & figures
Based on 2012-2016 annual averages:
- Most home heating fire deaths (86%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.
- The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (27%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- The leading factor contributing to ignition for home heating fire deaths (54%) was heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.
- Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.
Source: NFPA's “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment" report