Recently there has been increasing interest in stationary vehicle fires (SVF) and the safety of vehicles parked in garages. This interest has grown out of allegations by insurance companies that garage fires, some of which spread to other parts of the residence and cause considerable damage and/or injuries, may be caused by vehicles, and hence the vehicle manufacturer should be liable for damages.
Data from the National Fire Incidence Reporting System (NFIRS) 1999-2002 were used to study the involvement of motor vehicles in garage fires and to compare the risk of injury and fatality in post collision fuel fed fires (PCFFF) to risk of fatality in garage fires. This paper explores the role of both vehicles and other causes in garage fires. It is found that only 4.4% of garage fires in the US, or approximately 1,200 annual fires, are of the type that could possibly be related to vehicle design or maintenance. Therefore, it is unlikely that the risk of garage fire could be significantly reduced by changes to vehicle electrical or fuel system design.