The U.S. Fire Administration reported an estimated 24,000 household electrical fires from 2014 through 2016. The fires resulted in 310 deaths, 850 injuries, and $871 million in property loss. In 84% of the incidents, the fire spread beyond the electrical equipment that led to the fire. vHomeInsurance analyzed the household electric fire incidents that happened during the years 2014-2016 to understand the extent of fire proliferation and the type of electrical equipment that initiated the fire.
The study found that 16.5% of household electric fires were confined to the object of origin, contrary to non-electric household fires, which were confined to the object of origin in 64% of the incidents. The electric fire was limited to the room of origin and the floor of origin in 43% and 10.7% of the incidents, respectively. The fire extended beyond the building in 2.6% of the electrical fire incidents, whereas it was limited to the building of origin in 27.2% incidents.
Among the type of equipment that was first ignited, electrical wiring and insulated cables caught fire in 30.9% of the incidents. It was followed by structural framing and fires caused by acoustical insulation in 17.8% and 7.2% of the incidents, respectively. The exterior sidewall covering and the interior wall covering ignited first in 6.2% and 5.5% of the incidents, respectively. Other structural components such as beams, columns, stairs, etc., ignited first in 4.7% of the incidents.