COLD WEATHER SAFETY
National Fire Protection Association
In 2010, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 490 civilian deaths, 1,540 civilian injuries, and &1.1 billion in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 16% of all reported home fires.
Facts & figures
Based on 2005-2009 annual averages:
Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (79%) of home heating fire deaths.
The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (26%) 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%) of home heating fire deaths.
Half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.