Home Heating and Fireplace Safety

Fireplace safety video series

Facts about home heating fires

  • In 2011, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 14 percent of all reported home fires.
  • Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (33 percent) of home heating fires and four out of five (81 percent) of home heating fire deaths.
  • The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (28 percent) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
  • Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (53 percent) of home heating fire deaths.
  • Half (50 percent) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.

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