Residential Fire Facts and Statistics

HOW MANY FIRES ARE THERE, REALLY?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, in 2005 there were 1,602,000 fires reported in the United States. This number is down 3% from 2004. These fires caused 3,675 civilian deaths, 17,925 civilian injuries, 87 firefighter deaths, and $10.7 billion in property damage.residential-fire-lg

 THOSE FIRES BREAKDOWN INTO THREE CATEGORIES:

  • 511,000 were structure fires (down 3% from 2004), causing 3,105 civilian deaths, 15,325 civilian injuries, and $9.2 billion in property damage.
  • 290,000 were vehicle fires (down 2% from 2004), causing 520 civilian fire deaths, 1,650 civilian fire injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. *Note civilian deaths and injuries were those directly related to fire injuries or burns.
  • 801,000 were outside and other fires (up 10% from 2004), causing 50 civilian fire deaths, 950 civilian fire injuries, and $0.2 billion in property damage.

*On average, 100 firefighters die in the line duty every year.

WHAT CAUSES FIRES IN YOUR HOME:

NFPA lists the below as the leading causes of structure fires in homes between 2000 and 2004. NFPA defines a home as dwellings, duplexes, manufactured homes (mobile homes), apartments, row houses, townhouses, and condominiums.

 MAJOR CAUSE  Fires  Civilian Deaths  Civilian Injuries  Direct Property Damage
(In Millions)*
Cooking Equipment Fire 120,000 (32%) 220 (7%) 3,660 (25%) $362 (7%)
Identified Cooking Equipment 21,500 (6%) 210 (7%) 2,140 (15%) $334 (6%)
Confined Cooking Fire 98,500 (26%) 10 (0%) 1,520 (11%) $28 (1%)
Heating Equipment Fire 59,000 (16%) 330 (11%) 1,250 (9%) $540 (10%)
Identified Heating Equipment 19,600 (5%) 320 (11%) 1,130 (8%) $521 (9%)
Confined Chimney or Flue Fire 26,200 (7%) 0 (0%) 40 (0%) $15 (0%)
Confined Fuel Burner or Boiler Malfunction or Fire 13,300 (4%) 0 (0%) 80 (1%) $4 (0%)
Intentional (Arson) 19,000 (5%) 310 (11%) 1,070 (7%) $487 (9%)
Candle 16,400 (4%) 200 (7%) 1,680 (12%) $450 (8%)
Smoking Materials (Cigars, Cigarettes, Pipes) 14,000 (4%) 700 (24%) 1,340 (9%) $378 (7%)
Exposure to Other Fire 13,900 (4%) 30 (1%) 80 (1%) $319 (6%)
Electrical Distribution or Lighting Equipment 13,100 (3%) 140 (5%) 580 (4%) $340 (6%)
Clothing Dryer or Washer 8,900 (2%) 10 (0%) 290 (2%) $85 (2%)
Playing with Heat Source (Playing with Matches and Lighters) 8,200 (2%) 170 (6%) 1,020 (7%) $225 (4%)
Confined or Contained Trash or Rubbish Fire 13,900 (4%) 0 (0%) 50 (0%) $3 (0%)

SOME MORE FACTS (In the United States):

  • A fire department responded to a fire every 20 seconds.
  • One structure fire is reported every 62 seconds.
  • One home structure fire is reported every 83 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury is reported every 29 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 23 minutes.
  • One outside fire was reported every 39 seconds.
  • One vehicle fire was reported every 109 seconds.

* It is important to understand that not every fire or injury from fire is reported to the fire service. If you have a fire in your home, even a small one, it is NECESSARY that you contact the fire department.