Accidents in 2000 involving boilers and unfired pressure vessels totaled 2,686, a 24% increase from 1999, according to information from the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. Statistics include power boilers, steam-heating boilers, water-heating boilers, and unfired pressure vessels.
Despite the rise in accidents, the number of deaths from the accidents dropped by 33% from the year before. In 2000, seven deaths were reported due to burner failure, and another six deaths reported remain unknown or under investigation. One death in 2000 was caused by faulty design or fabrication.
Operator error or poor maintenance were cited as the chief cause of accidents that occurred in 2000, the third year that has been the leading cause. A total of 1,180 accidents were caused by operator error or poor maintenance. The board lists causes in nine categories: safety valve, low-water condition, limit controls, improper installation, improper repair, faulty design or fabrication, operator error or poor maintenance, burner failure, and unknown or under investigation.