Stats every firefighter should know about Halloween fires

Halloween fires account for an average of 25 deaths per year, according to the U.S. Fire Adminstration


Fires happen at any time or on any day of the year, but there are four specific holidays that see a dramatic increase in fires.

The spike for three of those holidays — Independence Day, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays of Christmas and New Year's — can be chalked up to incendiary devices and home cooking. And then there's Halloween.

An estimated average of 9,200 fires were reported for each year from 2017 to 2019 to fire departments in the United States over a 3-day period around Halloween, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. The fires caused an estimated annual average of 25 deaths, 100 injuries and $117 million in property losses.

Other Halloween fire statistics from 2017-2019, the latest available statistics, include: 

  • 34% of the fires happen outside, and 33.4% are residential.
  • Halloween-time fires happen most often between 4 and 8 p.m.
  • The leading cause of Halloween fires is cooking (49%). Heating accounts for 12%, unintentional, careless actions account for 8%, and another 8% are chalked up to electrical malfunctions. 

We want to know: does your department see an increase in fires before and during Halloween? And, what success, if any, has your department had in keeping fires and fatalities low during the mischief-maker holiday?

This article was originally published on Oct. 30, 2015. It has been updated. 

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