The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that home fires occur more frequently in winter months than at any other time of the year. Americans suffer approximately $2 billion in property loss each year because of winter home fires – and almost 900 die annually in those tragedies.
Winter home fires account for only 8 percent of the total number of yearly fires in the United States, but they result in 30 percent of all annual fire deaths.
Home heating fires
Heating is the second-leading cause of house fires, deaths and injuries in the United States (cooking is No. 1) – and December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are most often involved in home heating fires, figuring in 40 percent of them.
Some other facts about home heating fires:
- From 2013-2015, an average of 45,900 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year.
- Home heating fires peaked in the early evening hours, between 5 and 9 p.m.
- Home heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest point from June to August.
- Confined fires accounted for 75 percent of home heating fires.
- Twenty-nine percent of the non-confined home heating fires happened because the heat source was too close to a combustible item, such as a Christmas tree.
Some tips to avoid home heating fires:
- Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use the oven to heat your home.
- Always use the right kind of fuel for fuel burning space heaters.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room