USFA Releases Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings Report

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) issued a special report recently examining the characteristics of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. The report, Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings, was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center.

The report is part of the Topical Fire Report Series and is based on 2006 to 2008 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). According to the report, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss.

The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is, by far, cooking. In addition, these fires occur most frequently in the afternoon hours from noon to 4 p.m. Smaller, confined fires account for 71 percent and larger, nonconfined fires account for 29 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. Finally, smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of nonconfined Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings.

The topical reports are designed to explore facets of the U.S. fire problem as depicted through data collected in NFIRS. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. Also included are recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report or that put the report topic in context.

To view the report, click here.

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