Cooking equipment was the top product class linked to fires in buildings under construction in 2010-2014 while heating equipment was the main one during renovations. The findings are according to a report made available earlier this month from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which also looked at fires during demolition.
- Construction fires mostly involved cooking equipment (27%), heating equipment (13%), intentional setting (13%), torches/burners/soldering irons (6%), smoking material (5%), and exposure (3%).
- Renovation fires mostly involved heating (15%), intentional (13%), torch/burner/soldering irons (10%), cooking equipment (9%), smoking (4%), and exposure (3%).
- Demolition fires mostly involved intentional (42%), torch /burner/soldering irons (12%), heating (3%), cooking equipment (2%), smoking (2%), and exposure (2%).
Annual averages in NFPA's data included:
- Construction: 3,750 fires, five deaths, 51 civilian injuries, and $172 million in direct property damages.
- Renovation: 2,560 fires, four deaths, 65 civilian injuries, and $108 million in direct property damages.
- Demolition: 2,130 fires, four deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $30 million in direct property damages.
Those numbers all are under 2% of overall annual averages in each category for structure fires, most under 1%. During the five years, the averages for all building fires were 485,700 incidents, 2,716 deaths, 14,651 injuries, and $9.711 billion in direct property damages.
NFPA also compared fires confined to objects of origin and those not confined. It found (confined/non-confined):
- Construction: fires (1,450/2,310), deaths (0/5), injuries (2/49), and damages ($0/$172 million).
- Renovation: fires (490/2,080), deaths (0/4), injuries (3/62), and damages ($0/$108 million).
- Demolition: fires (230/1,900), deaths (0/4), injuries (2/14), and damages ($0/$30 million).
The report (bit.ly/2oUJQKo) additionally delves deeper into specific product types.