Kitchen Fires Statistics

Industrial Fire
Apr 12,2024

In the US, the main cause of home fires is kitchen fires (44%). Still, in 2024, kitchen fires are prominent and deadly. In fact, 18% of all home fire deaths and 42% of home injuries come from kitchen fires, according to NFPA.

Without question, it’s still very prevelent in today’s society, despite all the new fire retardent tech we have, meaning we need to be careful when cooking in our kitchens.

One way you can do this is by understanding the new kitchen fire statistics of 2024. These statistics will help you understand more about kitchen fires, allowing you to make data-driven decisions to safeguard your home.

Key Kitchen Fire Statistics 

The USFA’s Cooking Fire in Residential Building report reveals a troubling trend in the United States: An annual average of 187,500 cooking fires in residential buildings led to approximately 165 deaths, 3,325 injuries, and almost $1.5 billion in property loss.

Cooking not only topped the list as the leading cause of residential building fires but also as the primary source of related injuries. Alongside this, these fires frequently occurred between 4 to 9 p.m., peaking during dinner time, with November registering the highest incidence of such fires.

According to USFA, a staggering 93% of these cooking fires remained confined, typically involving oil, fat, and grease, which were the leading materials ignited in nonconfined fires. While the fires were mostly contained to the object or room of origin, the leading cause of ignition was unattended equipment.

However, despite the presence of smoke alarms in 67% of nonconfined cooking fires, only 9% had Automatic Extinguishing Systems (AESs), underscoring the need for more comprehensive fire safety measures in homes.

What Causes Kitchen Fires?

The primary culprits behind kitchen fires are organic materials, such as oils, fats, and grease, which can ignite when left unattended during cooking.

Source: USFA

Alongside this, multifamily residential buildings experienced the highest number of kitchen fires, with 27% of kitchen fires in these buildings being nonconfined.

Source: USFA

When it comes to timing, most fires happen between dinner time at 4-8 p.m.

Source: USFA

Another significant factor contributing to the prevalence of kitchen fires is the time of year. 

Statistics show that most kitchen fires occur between November and January each year. This spike is likely due to the increased number of social gatherings during the holiday season, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations.

Source: USFA

Kitchen Fire Deaths

While kitchen fires have risen over time, the data shows a decline in related deaths and injuries from the 1980s to 2020.

Source: NFPA

Although there were fewer deaths or injuries, the change in cooking fire deaths compared to overall home fire deaths is significant. More people die from cooking fires, which may showcase an inadequate knowledge of dealing with oil-based fires.

Source: NFPA

Alongside this, the statistics reveal that deaths not at the origin of the ignition are significantly higher compared to those involved at the initial fire source.

Source: NFPA

Economic Loss Due to Kitchen Fires

Between 2017 and 2019, the US lost almost 1.5 billion dollars in residential building cooking fire losses.

Source: USFA

Conclusion

The 2024 kitchen fire statistics highlight ongoing dangers in home cooking. Despite new fire prevention technologies, significant risks remain. 

Safety measures are also crucial, especially during peak times and holidays. The data underlines the need for better fire safety education, which may be particularly true for oil-based fires.

Overall, it’s vital for residents to install and maintain their fire safety measures. These devices can help reduce kitchen fires and their devastating impact. 

About the Author

Industrial Fire

We are a family-owned and operated business. Industrial Fire has proudly served Houston, Texas, for over seven decades. Fire protection technology has changed a lot since we started doing business in 1945. Still, one thing hasn’t changed, our commitment to providing our neighbors in Houston, TX, with the best fire protection services and equipment available.