Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments

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During 2010-2014, an estimated average of 7,410 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments each year. These fires resulted in associated annual losses of:

Three civilian deaths

110 civilian injuries

$165 million in property damage


Cooking equipment was the leading cause of fires in these properties, accounting for three out of five fires (61%) and 38% of direct property damage. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment was responsible for 9% of fires, but 21% of direct property damage, while heating equipment was responsible for 9% of fires and 9% of direct property damage. Smoking materials caused 7% of fires and 7% of direct property damage. Four percent of fires had an intentional cause, but these fires caused 10% of direct property damage.

Deep fryers were involved in one of five fires (21%) and ranges or cooktops were involved in 14% of fires.

Two-thirds (68%) of fires in eating and drinking establishments were small and did not spread beyond the object of origin.

Cooking materials were the item first ignited in 43% of the fires in eating and drinking establishments.

Failure to clean was a factor in 22% of the fires in these properties.


Source: Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments, Richard Campbell
NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169, www.nfpa.org

Research, Data and Analytics Division, research@nfpa.org

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