As the temperature drops, the appeal of curling up on the sofa with a fluffy blanket and a cup of hot chocolate increases. Many people tend to stay indoors in the cooler months, their homes becoming warm, safe havens occasionally permeated by the aroma of holiday meals or gingerbread cookies.
But with more time spent indoors, furnaces and heaters, and kitchen appliances working over time, these seemingly cozy circumstances can quickly turn tragic. Westfield compiled a list of the most common causes of reported house fires from data collected by the National Fire Protection Association from 2015 to 2019. The numbers are unambiguous: House fires are more frequent in the cooler months. The report also shows the rate of fires peaks from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., when people with typical daytime work, school, and activity schedules return home.
Fire departments across the U.S. responded to an estimated average of 346,800 home fire calls each year between 2015 and 2019. An average of 2,620 people died each year in that timeframe, and over 11,000 were injured. Property damage due to house fires was $7.3 billion.
The following are the most common culprits of house fires, all of which should be placed on your household safety watchlist to prevent what should be a joyous time of year taking a potentially devastating turn.