The following statistics are taken from the Activity report and statistics on fires reported in 2012, prepared by the Ministère de la Sécurité publique.

  • In 2010, 2011 and 2012, there were an average of 20 building fires per day across Québec—approximately one fire every 72 minutes.
  • In 2012, 7,225 building fires were reported, for losses estimated at $467.9 million.
  • Only 10% of buildings that caught fire were equipped with sprinklers.
  • A National Fire Protection Association survey of 58,000 fires revealed a 96.2% efficacy rate for automatic sprinkler systems.

Probable causes of all fires reported in Québec in 2012 :

Cause %
Undetermined or unknown 59
Mechanical or electrical failure or malfunction 14
Human error 9
Incident referred for police investigation 7
Improper use of a flammable material (e.g., cooking oil) 4
Other (e.g., natural causes) 2
Improper use of an ignition source (e.g., playing with matches) 2
Improper use of equipment (e.g., electrical overload) 2
Faulty design, construction or installation 1


Breakdown of building fires reported in 2012, by time of day:

Time %
12 a.m. to 4:59 a.m. 14
5 a.m. to 9:59 a.m. 15
10 a.m. to 2:59 p.m. 23
3 p.m. to 7:59 p.m. 29
8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. 19


Breakdown of building fires reported in 2012, by week day:

Day %
Monday 15
Tuesday 14
Wednesday 15
Thursday 14
Friday 14
Saturday 14
Sunday 14


Breakdown of building fires reported in 2012, by month:

Month %
January 11
February 9
March 10
April 9
May 8
June 7
July 7
August 7
September 7
October 7
November 9
December 9


Breakdown of building fires reported in 2012, by building type:

Building type %
Residential 69
Public/services 8
Commercial 7
Industrial 6
Agricultural 4
Undetermined 4
Other (fishing, hunting, mining) 2


Estimated material losses related to building fires reported in 2012 :

Location Damages
Buildings $271.6 M
Contents $165.0 M
Exteriors $31.3 M
Total $467.9 M


Point of origin of residential building fires reported in 2012:

Description %
Kitchen 27
Other location (home business) 12
Outdoor balcony, roof, wall 10
Indoor garage, storage locker, warehouse, cold room, etc. (storage area) 9
Living room, sitting room, library, etc. 8
Yard, deck, outdoor parking space, etc. (outdoor area) 8
Undetermined 7
Bedroom 6
Entrance, hallway, indoor staircase and other high-traffic areas 3
Bathroom 4
Chimney, pipe, ventilation duct, etc. 2
Hot water tank closet, boiler room, electrical room, workshop, etc. 3
Dining room 1


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