Homeowners Insurance

Average Cost of Home Insurance Rises 27% After a Fire

Average Cost of Home Insurance Rises 27% After a Fire

Depending on the state, the average price increase after a blaze can be as high as 42%.
A rag fire on a range.
A rag fire on a range. Source: Getty Images

Residential fires can lead to financially and emotionally difficult recoveries. ValuePenguin compiled homeowners insurance rates from homes before and after a blaze that resulted in a total property loss, finding that fire damage led to higher insurance rates nationally — and in every state.

Nearly two decades' worth of U.S. Fire Administration data shows that residential fires have caused billions of dollars in damage to homes across the country. From 2003 to 2019 — the latest available data from the agency — residential fires have caused an average of $8.1 billion in damage annually, or $138 billion total.

Insurance providers cover part of the fire damage costs on behalf of their policyholders, but these expenses result in higher prices. ValuePenguin calculated that the average cost of home insurance increases 27% after a residential fire. Depending on the state, average rates could rise by as much as 42% or as little as 6%.

Key findings

Fire damage causes home insurance costs to rise in every state, with average increases of 40% or higher in 4 states

After a fire destroys an entire dwelling, the annual cost of that home's insurance policy rises by an average of 27% across all states and the District of Columbia. However, losing a home to a fire leads to different insurance premium changes depending on the state in which it occurred.

In Florida, home insurance costs rise by an average of 6% after a fire — the lowest of any state and the only one below 10%. Conversely, home insurance rates in Mississippi and West Virginia increase by an average of 42% after a fire, making them the most expensive states in which to experience fire damage.

Rank
State
Average annual cost after fire
Difference
1Mississippi$2,23642%
2West Virginia$1,67342%
3Idaho$1,48641%
4Oregon$1,67440%
5Pennsylvania$1,25139%
6Michigan$2,15639%
7Maine$1,35938%
8Wisconsin$1,53937%
9Missouri$2,76936%
10Illinois$1,83635%
11North Carolina$1,89735%
12Nevada$1,46934%
Show All Rows

States are arranged by the percentage difference between the cost of home insurance before and after a fire. The percentages are rounded.

Aside from Missississippi and West Virginia, two other states experience rate increases averaging more than 40%. Home insurance premiums in Idaho go up by 41% on average after a fire, while blazes cause rates in Oregon — which experiences a high number of wildfires — to increase by 40% on average.

The most expensive state for home insurance after a fire is Colorado, but fire damage results in a lower-than-average markup there than in the rest of the country. After a fire destroys a home in Colorado, the cost of homeowners insurance increases by an average of 21% — six percentage points below the average.

Do you need special fire insurance?

Home insurance policies typically cover damage caused by fires — wildfires or residential fires. Fire damage is even covered if a blaze is caused by an event not typically covered by a home insurance policy, like an earthquake.

Some homeowners or tenants may want to — or even have to — purchase a separate fire insurance policy in addition to their regular home or renters insurance coverage. Owners of homes with a history of claims or ones that aren't a primary residence may purchase a stand-alone fire policy to protect against damage. Additionally, owners of homes built in high-risk areas with frequent wildfires may be refused coverage by traditional insurance companies. These homeowners will instead have to purchase Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plans to receive insurance coverage.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EAfter a fire destroys an entire dwelling, the annual cost of that home's insurance policy rises by an average of 27% across all states and the District of Columbia. However, losing a home to a fire leads to different insurance premium changes depending on the state in which it occurred.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EIn Florida, home insurance costs rise by an average of 6% after a fire \u2014 the lowest of any state and the only one below 10%. Conversely, \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/average-cost-of-homeowners-insurance\"\u003Ehome insurance rates\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E in Mississippi and West Virginia increase by an average of 42% after a fire, making them the most expensive states in which to experience fire damage.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd frWuiR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003ERank\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd frWuiR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EState\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd frWuiR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EAverage annual cost after fire\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd frWuiR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EDifference\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E1\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EMississippi\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$2,236\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E42%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E2\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EWest Virginia\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,673\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E42%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E3\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EIdaho\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,486\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E41%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E4\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EOregon\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,674\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E40%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E5\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EPennsylvania\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,251\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E39%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E6\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EMichigan\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$2,156\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E39%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E7\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EMaine\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,359\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E38%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E8\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EWisconsin\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,539\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E37%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E9\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EMissouri\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$2,769\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E36%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E10\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EIllinois\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,836\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E35%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E11\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003ENorth Carolina\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,897\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E35%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E12\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003ENevada\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$1,469\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E34%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv role=\"button\" class=\"StyledExpander-sc-1gnrutu gvWduk\"\u003EShow All Rows\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cp class=\"SortableTable--footnote\"\u003EStates are arranged by the percentage difference between the cost of home insurance before and after a fire. The percentages are rounded.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"left\",\"right\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[],\"columnWidths\":[],\"data\":[[\"Rank\",\"State\",\"Average annual cost after fire\",\"Difference\"],[\"1\",\"Mississippi\",\"$2,236\",\"42%\"],[\"2\",\"West Virginia\",\"$1,673\",\"42%\"],[\"3\",\"Idaho\",\"$1,486\",\"41%\"],[\"4\",\"Oregon\",\"$1,674\",\"40%\"],[\"5\",\"Pennsylvania\",\"$1,251\",\"39%\"],[\"6\",\"Michigan\",\"$2,156\",\"39%\"],[\"7\",\"Maine\",\"$1,359\",\"38%\"],[\"8\",\"Wisconsin\",\"$1,539\",\"37%\"],[\"9\",\"Missouri\",\"$2,769\",\"36%\"],[\"10\",\"Illinois\",\"$1,836\",\"35%\"],[\"11\",\"North Carolina\",\"$1,897\",\"35%\"],[\"12\",\"Nevada\",\"$1,469\",\"34%\"],[\"13\",\"Arizona\",\"$1,844\",\"34%\"],[\"14\",\"Virginia\",\"$2,105\",\"33%\"],[\"15\",\"Alaska\",\"$1,725\",\"33%\"],[\"16\",\"Kentucky\",\"$2,618\",\"33%\"],[\"17\",\"Ohio\",\"$1,707\",\"31%\"],[\"18\",\"Washington\",\"$1,542\",\"31%\"],[\"19\",\"District of Columbia\",\"$3,548\",\"30%\"],[\"20\",\"California\",\"$2,299\",\"30%\"],[\"21\",\"New Mexico\",\"$1,966\",\"29%\"],[\"22\",\"Kansas\",\"$3,367\",\"29%\"],[\"23\",\"Alabama\",\"$2,353\",\"29%\"],[\"24\",\"Indiana\",\"$1,562\",\"29%\"],[\"25\",\"Georgia\",\"$2,250\",\"29%\"],[\"26\",\"Connecticut\",\"$2,069\",\"28%\"],[\"27\",\"Maryland\",\"$1,782\",\"28%\"],[\"28\",\"New Hampshire\",\"$1,687\",\"27%\"],[\"29\",\"Rhode Island\",\"$2,155\",\"27%\"],[\"30\",\"North Dakota\",\"$2,279\",\"27%\"],[\"31\",\"Minnesota\",\"$2,677\",\"26%\"],[\"32\",\"Arkansas\",\"$2,338\",\"26%\"],[\"33\",\"Delaware\",\"$977\",\"25%\"],[\"34\",\"Utah\",\"$1,419\",\"25%\"],[\"35\",\"Nebraska\",\"$3,044\",\"25%\"],[\"36\",\"Wyoming\",\"$1,861\",\"24%\"],[\"37\",\"Massachusetts\",\"$2,187\",\"24%\"],[\"38\",\"Tennessee\",\"$3,707\",\"22%\"],[\"39\",\"South Dakota\",\"$2,567\",\"22%\"],[\"40\",\"Texas\",\"$3,119\",\"22%\"],[\"41\",\"New Jersey\",\"$1,448\",\"21%\"],[\"42\",\"Colorado\",\"$4,097\",\"21%\"],[\"43\",\"Vermont\",\"$999\",\"21%\"],[\"44\",\"Iowa\",\"$1,734\",\"21%\"],[\"45\",\"Oklahoma\",\"$3,997\",\"20%\"],[\"46\",\"Montana\",\"$2,915\",\"18%\"],[\"47\",\"South Carolina\",\"$2,376\",\"17%\"],[\"48\",\"New York\",\"$1,732\",\"15%\"],[\"49\",\"Louisiana\",\"$2,022\",\"15%\"],[\"50\",\"Hawaii\",\"$1,210\",\"11%\"],[\"51\",\"Florida\",\"$2,094\",\"6%\"]],\"footnote\":\"States are arranged by the percentage difference between the cost of home insurance before and after a fire. The percentages are rounded.\",\"hideHeaderRow\":false,\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":true,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\"}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EAside from Missississippi and West Virginia, two other states experience rate increases averaging more than 40%. Home insurance premiums in Idaho go up by 41% on average after a fire, while blazes cause rates in Oregon \u2014 which experiences a high \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Wildfire Statistics\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/wildfire-statistics\"\u003Enumber of wildfires\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E \u2014 to increase by 40% on average.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe most expensive state for home insurance after a fire is Colorado, but fire damage results in a lower-than-average markup there than in the rest of the country. After a fire destroys a home in Colorado, the cost of homeowners insurance increases by an average of 21% \u2014 six percentage points below the average.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EDo you need special fire insurance?\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/homeowners-insurance-coverage\"\u003EHome insurance policies typically cover damage\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E caused by fires \u2014 wildfires or residential fires. Fire damage is even covered if a blaze is caused by an event not typically covered by a home insurance policy, like an earthquake.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ESome homeowners or tenants may want to \u2014 or even have to \u2014 purchase a separate fire insurance policy in addition to their regular home or renters insurance coverage. Owners of homes with a history of claims or ones that aren't a primary residence may purchase a \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Do I Need Separate Fire Insurance Coverage for My Home?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/homeowners-insurance-fire-smoke-wildfire-damage\"\u003Estand-alone fire policy\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E to protect against damage. Additionally, owners of homes built in high-risk areas with frequent wildfires may be refused coverage by traditional insurance companies. These homeowners will instead have to purchase \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"How to Insure a High Risk Home\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/homeowners-insurance\/fair-plans-and-how-do-you-insure-high-risk-home\"\u003EFair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plans\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E to receive insurance coverage.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Residential fires have caused an average of $8.1 billion in yearly damage since 2003

At the national level, residential fires caused an average of $8.1 billion in annual damage between 2003 and 2019, according to the latest data from the U.S. Fire Administration. In total during this period, residential fires caused $138 billion in damage to homes.

During this period, the damage from residential fires didn’t fade. Rather, the cost of fire damage increased slightly from $7.9 billion in 2003 to $8.5 billion in 2005 to a high of $9.5 billion in 2008 before receding to $7.9 billion in 2019. In 2019, the amount of damage caused by residential fires was less than a single percentage point different from 2003.

From 2003 to 2019, there was never a year with fewer than 350,000 residential fires. On average, there were 375,059 house fires yearly, totaling 6.4 million. In 2019, the year with the fewest fires, there were still 354,400 blazes — though this represents a decrease of 7% compared to the total (381,200) in 2003.

Number of residential fires
Cost of residential fires

Changes to the cost and number of residential fires from 2003 to 2019 were largely insignificant.

Residential fires resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people during this period. Statistics show 45,895 were killed from 2003 to 2019 in residential fires, an average of 2,700 yearly.

Cooking sources have been responsible for an average of 46% of yearly residential fires since 2003, followed — though not closely — by heating equipment

Most residential fires are caused by heating sources used for cooking. Data shows that cooking fires, stoves, ovens and other fixed sources of heat were to blame for an average of 46% of the yearly fires between 2003 and 2019. Further, between 2014 and 2019, cooking sources were the cause of at least half of residential fires, with a high point of 52% in 2017.

Behind cooking were heat sources, such as chimneys and fireplaces. These sources were responsible for fires 12% of the time on average — ranging from a high point of 16% in 2003 to a low point of 9% in 2019. Heating sources were responsible for a yearly average of 5% of all damage related to residential fires in this period. These fires led to 2,970 deaths, or an average of 6% yearly of all residential fire-related deaths.

Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, 2021, is National Chimney Safety Week, and data reveals that many people are injured each year from fires related to chimneys and fireplaces.

Sources of residential fires

Injury figures from the NEISS revealed that 67,770 people received hospital care for injuries sustained from chimneys and fireplaces between 2011 and 2020. On average, that’s 6,777 people injured yearly. However, fewer required (or sought) hospital attention in 2020 than in 2011. In fact, the number of injuries caused by chimneys and fireplaces fell by 44% during this period, according to NEISS figures.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EMost residential fires are caused by heating sources used for cooking. Data shows that cooking fires, stoves, ovens and other fixed sources of heat were to blame for an average of 46% of the yearly fires between 2003 and 2019. Further, between 2014 and 2019, cooking sources were the cause of at least half of residential fires, with a high point of 52% in 2017.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EBehind cooking were heat sources, such as chimneys and fireplaces. These sources were responsible for fires 12% of the time on average \u2014 ranging from a high point of 16% in 2003 to a low point of 9% in 2019. Heating sources were responsible for a yearly average of 5% of all damage related to residential fires in this period. These fires led to 2,970 deaths, or an average of 6% yearly of all residential fire-related deaths.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodePullquote--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodePullquote--text ShortcodePullquote--blue\"\u003E\n \nSept. 26 to Oct. 2, 2021, is National Chimney Safety Week, and data reveals that many people are injured each year from fires related to chimneys and fireplaces.\n\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImageResponsive--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cfigure class=\"ShortcodeImage--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cpicture class=\"ShortcodeImage--picture\"\u003E\n \u003Csource\n media=\"(max-width: 607.5px)\"\n data-srcset=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/residential-fires-source-m_kzwjol 1x, http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/residential-fires-source-m_kzwjol 2x\"\n\/\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"Sources of residential fires\" class=\"lazyload\" data-src=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/residential-fires-source_wcfcqt\" src=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_1600\/v1\/residential-fires-source_wcfcqt\" data-srcset=\"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/residential-fires-source_wcfcqt 1x, http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/residential-fires-source_wcfcqt 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/picture\u003E\n \u003C\/figure\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EInjury figures from the NEISS revealed that 67,770 people received hospital care for injuries sustained from chimneys and fireplaces between 2011 and 2020. On average, that\u2019s 6,777 people injured yearly. However, fewer required (or sought) hospital attention in 2020 than in 2011. In fact, the number of injuries caused by chimneys and fireplaces fell by 44% during this period, according to NEISS figures.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Methodology

ValuePenguin analyzed U.S. Fire Administration data on residential fires from 2003 to 2019 — the latest available. Researchers compared the number of heating fires to the total number of fires during this time. The U.S. Fire Administration classifies heating fires as those that start in:

  • Flues
  • Fireplaces
  • Chimneys
  • Fuel burners or broilers
  • Central heating units
  • Fixed and portable heating units
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Water heaters

This study also utilizes injury data from the NEISS. The data, covering 2011 to 2020, denotes injuries from sources that caused at least 1,200 yearly injuries that required hospital care. Those sources include:

  • Wood- and gas-burning fireplaces
  • Built-in fireplaces
  • Electric fireplaces
  • Brick, stone or masonry chimneys
  • Metal chimneys, stovepipes or flues
  • Unspecified fireplaces
  • Unspecified chimneys

Finally, ValuePenguin calculated the impact of fires on the cost of homeowners insurance using Quadrant Information Services. Researchers gathered rates for homes insured to the median value of a home in each state.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your own quotes may be different.