This article originally appeared in Issue 15 of our magazine.

Compared to other common causes of death (see below), fire might not be one of the grim reaper’s favorites, but it still wreaks havoc in the United States every year. A house fire can go from a small spark to a raging inferno in under five minutes. In 2013, 1.24 million fires in the USA caused 3,240 deaths, almost 16,000 injuries, and $11.5 billion in damages, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. The National Interagency Fire Center — which compiles annual statistics for federal and state agencies — reports that more than 10 million acres were destroyed by wildfires in 2015. With warm weather and many fire-prone regions experiencing droughts, we take a closer look at fire facts as well as the most common causes.

Top 3 Most Common Causes of Residential Fires:

  1. Cooking – 50%
  2. Heating – 12.5%
  3. Electrical – 6.3%

Fire Deaths Compared to Most Common Causes of Death:

  • Fire – 3,275
  • Heart Disease – 614,348
  • Cancer – 591,699
  • Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases – 147,101
  • Accidents – 136,053


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