Hotel and Motel Structure Fires

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Report: NFPA's "Structure Fires in Hotels and Motels" (PDF, 2 MB)
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: September 2015

Hotels and motels include facilities for year-round or seasonal use. Many hotels and motels are mixed-use properties with sleeping rooms, restaurants, stores, banquet facilities, meeting spaces, and areas for other use. Based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System and the NFPA Fire Experience Survey, we estimated annual fires and losses during 2009-2013. 

Report highlights 

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,520 structure fires in hotels and motels each year, which represents 1% of all structure fires.
  • These fires resulted in annual losses of 9 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries, and $84 million in direct property damage.
  • Cooking equipment was the leading cause of fires in hotels and motels, accounting for one-half of the fires in this property type.
  • The leading area of origin for structure fires in hotels and motels is the kitchen, which is the location where two of every five fires (41%) started. These fires accounted for 8% of civilian deaths, 25% of civilian injuries, and 8% of direct property damage.  
Structure fires in hotels and motels by leading cause, 2009-2013