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September 2015: Mitigation of Cooking Fires
Updated On: Sep 01, 2015

Mitigation of Cooking Fires

Fires resulting from cooking continue to be the most common type of fire experienced in U.S. households. This is true for fires reported to fire departments and those handled by private individuals. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire injuries.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) conducts research into the types of behaviors and sequences of events that lead to cooking fires. Through this research, we develop recommendations for behavioral mitigation strategies that will reduce such fires and their resultant injuries and fatalities.

Facts About Cooking Fires

  • Cooking is the leading cause of residential building fires and residential building fire injuries.
  • Between 2008-2010, cooking accounted for 45 percent of residential building fires responded to by fire departments.
  • Ninety-four percent of residential cooking fires are confined fires that result in little or no loss.
  • Males face a disproportionate risk of cooking fire injury relative to the amount of cooking they do.
  • Young children and older adults face a higher risk of death from cooking fires than do other age groups.
  • Young children are at high risk from non-fire cooking-related burns.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to cooking fires.
  • Many other cooking fires begin because combustibles are too close to cooking heat sources.
  • Frying is the cooking method posing the highest risk.
  • More than half of the home cooking injuries occur when people try to fight the fire themselves.
  • Educational effectiveness may be enhanced by linking burn prevention and fire prevention.
  • Technology may be the best long-term solution to dealing with the cooking fire problem.


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