In 2010, smoking materials started an estimated 17,500 home structure fires, resulting in 540 deaths, 1,320 injuries and $535 million in direct property damage. Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
Sleep was a factor in two of every five home smoking material fire deaths. Possible alcohol impairment was reported in one quarter of these deaths.
In recent years, Canada and the U. S. have required that all cigarettes sold must be “fire safe,” that is have reduced ignition strength and less likely to start fires.
Half (49 percent) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Other leading types of equipment were washer or dryer, fan, portable or stationary space heater, and air conditioning equipment.