"These topical reports are designed to explore facets of the U.S. fire problem as depicted through data collected in the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA's) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. Also included are recent examples of fire inci-dents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report or that put the report topic in context." This edition focuses on attic fires in residential buildings. Findings from this report our: "1) An estimated 10,000 residential building attic fires are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 30 deaths, 125 injuries, and $477 million in property loss. 2) Residential building attic fires are considered part of the residential fire problem and comprise approximately 2 percent of all residential building fires. 3) Almost all residential building attic fires are nonconfined fires (99 percent). 4) One- and two-family residential buildings account for 90 percent of residential attic fires. 5) Electrical malfunction is the leading cause of residential building attic fires (43 percent), followed by natural fires (16 percent). 5) A third of all residential building attic fires spread to involve the entire building. Only 2 percent extend beyond the building to adjacent properties. 7) Residential building attic fires are most prevalent in December (12 percent) and January (11 percent) and peak between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. 8) Electrical arcing is the most common heat source in residential building attic fires (37 percent)."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (January 2011), v.11 no.6