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The Top Ten: Major Causes of House Fires

The Top Ten December 10 - 17

Major Causes of House Fires, 1994–1998
(annual averages)

Rank Major cause Fires Percentage
1. Cooking equipment 91,700 22.6%
2. Heating equipment 59,100 14.5
3. Incendiary or suspicious 49,000 12.1
4. Other equipment 42,800 10.5
5. Electrical distribution 38,400 9.4
6. Appliance, tool, or AC 29,400 7.2
7. Smoking materials 21,200 5.2
8. Open flame, ember, or torch 19,700 4.8
9. Child playing 18,200 4.5
10. Exposure (to other hostile fire) 15,500 3.8
Note: The remaining 5.3% is comprised of other heat sources (3.2%) and natural causes (2.1%). Data represents fires in one- and two-family homes, manufactured housing, and apartments.




Infoplease Daily Almanac

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