Smoke Alarms Not Present in Many Thanksgiving Day Fires

WASHINGTON — An estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day residential fires occur annually in the United States, resulting in an average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss, according to a new report by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).  

Titled “Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings,” the report is based on data compiled between 2006 to 2008 from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Among its findings, no smoke alarms were present in 20 percent of non-confined Thanksgiving Day fires in occupied residential buildings.

Cooking is the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. Most of the fires occur in the afternoon from noon to 4 p.m., according to study results.

Additionally, smaller, confined fires accounted for 71 percent of all reported blazes, while the larger, non-confined fires accounted for 29 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings.

For more information regarding other topical reports from the USFA, visit



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