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Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home* fires and home fire injuries. Nearly all cooking equipment fires start with the ignition of food, other cooking materials (e.g., grease, cooking oil), or other items normally found or installed in a kitchen (e.g., cabinets, wall coverings, paper or plastic bags, curtains).

  Facts & figures

  • In 2005, U.S. fire departments responded to 146,400 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment in 2005. These fires caused 480 civilian fire deaths, 4,690 civilian fire injuries and $876 million in direct property damage.
  • Cooking equipment fires are the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries. These fires accounted for 40% of all reported home structure fires in 2005 and 36% of home civilian injuries.
  • Twelve percent of the fires occurred when something that could catch fire was too close to the equipment.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research Division

Also see: Fact sheet on home fires involving cooking equipment.(PDF, 78 KB)

* Homes are dwellings, duplexes, manufactured homes, apartments, townhouses, rowhouses and condominiums.

NFPA does not test, label or approve any products.
Updated: 11/08

In this Section:
Cooking safety tips
What you need to know about staying fire-safe in the kitchen.
Learn how to use your gas-fueled or charcoal grill safely.
Reports and statistics
NFPA reports and other research on cooking fires.
Microwave ovens
One of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries.
Keep Your Community Cooking Safely
An online toolkit for public educators.
Cooking oil
An oil fire can surge up and out of the pan almost instantly.
Videos and presentations
USFA, NFPA produced these videos and presentation tools .
Turkey fryers
NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers.