Fire Prevention & Protection, Tech Zone

USFA Releases Cooking Fires Report

According to a new report from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), cooking remained the leading cause of all residential building fires and injuries for the period 2008-2010. The report, Cooking Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010), addresses the characteristics of these fires and is based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

Findings from the report developed by the USFA’s National Fire Data Center include:

An estimated average of 164,500 cooking fires in residential buildings occurred in the United States each year and resulted in an annual average of 110 deaths, 3,525 injuries and $309 million in property loss.

Residential building cooking fires peaked from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. when many people were preparing the evening meal.

Confined fires, those fires limited to the cooking vessel, accounted for 94 percent of residential building cooking fires.

Oil, fat and grease (51 percent) were the leading types of material ignited in larger, more widespread cooking fires in residential buildings.

Building on this research to help the U.S. fire service increase awareness about fire-safe cooking behaviors in communities, USFA provides recommendations for behavioral mitigation strategies that reduce cooking fires and resultant injuries and fatalities. Educational video messages, research reports and presentations for public fire educators are available on the USFA’s website at

Cooking Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010) is part of the Topical Fire Report Series. Topical reports explore facets of the United States 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 put the report topic in context.

For more information regarding topical reports, fire prevention programs or other programs and training available from USFA, visit