In early June 2017, my home was severely damaged in a fire. A low-rise apartment complex under construction caught on fire (from an unknown cause) and the flames spread into neighbouring complexes.
Just how rare are house fires?
Local news seems to cover a house fire on a regular basis. Despite all the advancements in fireproof housing materials and fire awareness and prevention education, are house fires regularly common?
Here is the rough math:
The annual average number of fires in residential units is 2,534, making the chance a single unit will have a house fire 0.2%.
Chance of an Albertan household experiencing a house fire this year: 0.2%.
That’s it – 0.2%. The odds of experiencing a house fire this year is 7 times more likely than getting struck by lightning over your entire lifetime.
And how will these fires start? Most fires (22%) have an unknown cause and the second leading cause is exposure to another building or object already on fire (21%). Then comes cooking (15%), arson (9%) and smoking (9%).