Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Statistic Watch: How common are household fires?


House fires are one of the tragic ways that one could lose their life savings, their home, and in worst cases, their family. In this article, we’ll look at the statistics. How frequently do house fires occur? What are the most common causes of house fires? Looking at the numbers will give a concrete answer to these questions that are key to understanding how fires occur and eventually, preventing them from happening to your home and family. 

How common are house fires?

In the United States, it is estimated by the National Fire Protection Agency [NFPA] (2021) that home fires make up about a quarter of the reported fires in the entire country. To give a concrete number, this is around 325,000 home fires that occur each year. 


Home fires are also known to be the primary cause of fire-related injuries and deaths as well. In the UK, more than 300 lives were lost to home fire-related incidents in the year 2019-2020 alone (Intelligent Security and Fire Ltd, 2021). The same gravity of numbers can be observed in the United States, where three-fourths of fire-related deaths occur in home fires, a number estimated to be at 2,620 annually, accompanied by over 11,070 injuries. 

Most home fire-related deaths are primarily caused by smoke inhalation, or being “overcome by gas or smoke” instead of the actual fire, while the most common home fire-related injury are burns (National Statistics UK, 2019)


When and where do house fires usually occur?

House fires do not discriminate, however, children and the elderly are the most vulnerable (NFPA, 2021). This is because children and the elderly face multiple barriers to quickly evacuating a home that is already catching on fire, causing them to get trapped inside the burning home. 


It is worth noting that house fires commonly occur from around 10 PM to 6 AM, during the time when everybody at home is sleeping (Clark & Girbo, 2019). This is because when everybody is asleep, it is very easy to forget and not notice hazardous appliances that may cause the fire. 


Most common causes of house fires 

The common consensus across countries is that complications surrounding electrical appliances are the main cause of fire in residential structures. In the UK, cooking appliances cause almost half of house fires at 48%, whereas, other electrical appliances trail in as the second cause at 12.3%, followed by faulty electrical distributions at 12.1% (Clark & Girbo, 2019). The NFPA (2021) identifies similar culprits to house fires, naming the following as the main causes: cooking equipment, heating equipment, electrical distribution, and lighting equipment. In fact, during 2015-2019, cooking equipment was the primary cause of house fires in the US, a finding similar to the UK. 

Cooking equipment causes house fires when grease overheats and combusts in the process (Beaudrie & Campbell, 2022). Grease is highly flammable and when it overheats, it can easily catch on fire. This is why it is highly advised that one never leaves their cooking, especially when they are cooking with grease or oil. Portable cooking appliances such as toasters also commonly cause fires when they are left plugged in for a long time and are used unsupervised



Beaudrie, D., & Campbell, L. (2022, January 24). How to Protect Your Home Against 7 Common Causes of Fire. The Spruce.,to%20more%20than%202%2C600%20deaths.

Clark, M., & Girbo, M. (2019, November 14). UK house fire statistics. The Morgan Clark Blog.

Intelligent Security and Fire Ltd. (2021). Intelligent Security & Fire. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from

National Fire Protection Agency. (2021, October). Home Structure Fires.

National Statistics UK. (2019). Detailed analysis of fires attended by fire and rescue services, England, April 2018 to March 2019. ISBN: 978–1-78655-886-2.

Invalid email address
Wait! Don't Miss the Discount

Get 10% Off on Your First Order