Winter House Fire Statistics and History

Winter House Fire Statistics and History

House fires date back to the early 19th century, but what are winter house fire statistics like today? Over 350,000 fires are extinguished every year, bringing with them thousands of deaths and injuries. Something as simple as knocking a candle over can start a fire. Of course, before we had electricity in our homes, open flames were our only source of light in the dark. It’s no wonder fires started so easily back then, burning entire homes to the ground. 

Evolution of House Fires

The causes of fires have only evolved with us, causing more and more daily fires. Now, candles still cause fires daily. Approximately 20 home candle fires are reported every day. But other sources also cause fires: stovetops, ovens, electrical wiring, and even Christmas trees. 

Not only do fires start, but they’re especially bad in the winter when heaters run 24/7 to keep us warm while winter weather dominates the outside air. Winter house fire statistics are higher than they should be because of this. The holidays are another major factor for why winter fires are so common. 

Winter House Fire Statistics

Thanksgiving Cooking

When many Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in late November, cooking fires are bound to happen. Thanksgiving Day is the #1 day of the year for home cooking fires, followed closely by Christmas Day and then Christmas Eve. How people cook plays a significant role in how these fires get started. 

Christmas Trees and Holiday Decorations

If you asked a firefighter about house fires in December, they would attribute a large portion of them to Christmas trees. On average, 160 house fires across the country start from a Christmas tree each winter. Some fires started from the lights on Christmas trees, but some fires started with the lighting equipment or electrical distribution. 

Holiday decorations also contribute to winter fires. They happen mostly when decorations are too close to an open flame, like a fireplace or a candle. Candle flames cause nearly half of all winter fires in December. Candles are a leading cause of fire year-round, not just during the winter months. 


In just four years, nearly 7,400 house fires were started by candles. Out of those fires, 90 people died, and 670 were injured. Lack of space between things is why candle fires happen so often. Furniture, mattresses, bedding, curtains, and (non-holiday) decorations can all catch on fire. While candle fires happen daily, they more than double on Christmas Day.

In general, winter house fires could be prevented by keeping flames away from nearby objects, exercising caution when cooking, and carefully installing Christmas lights. 

Black Diamond Restoration

If you’re reading up on winter house fire statistics, chances are you’ve had a recent encounter with fire. Fires can cause horrifying damage to your home; damage that, if left unrepaired, can get even worse. For example, a burned staircase could collapse on the rest of your home. And that’s not to mention dilapidated walls, cabinets, and countertops. Fire damage can render your house uninhabitable. Black Diamond Restoration is here to repair your home. Contact us today to get started.


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