NFPA releases 2010 “Fire Loss in the U.S.” report
New report shows lower number of fires but increased fire deaths
Public fire departments responded to 1,331,500 fires in the United States during 2010, a slight decrease from the previous year and the lowest number since 1977, according to a new report (759 KB) issued by the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA).
These fires caused an estimated 3,120 civilian fire deaths, a 4 percent increase from a year ago; an estimated 17,720 civilian fire injuries, also a 4 percent increase from the previous year; and more than $11.5 billion in property damage, a significant decrease from the year before.
Fire Loss in the U.S. analyzes 2010 figures for fires, civilian fire deaths, injuries, property damage, and intentionally set fires. Estimates are based on data collected from fire departments that responded to NFPA’s Annual National Fire Experience Survey.
There were an estimated 482,000 structure fires reported to fire departments in 2010, a very slight increase from a year ago. The number of structure fires was at their peak in 1977, the first year that NFPA implemented its current survey methodology, when 1,098,000 structure fires occurred.
“We have made tremendous progress in reducing the fire problem in the United States since we began looking at these numbers in the late 70’s,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “But this report shows us that more must be done to bring the numbers down even further. We continue to see the vast majority of deaths occurring in homes, a place where people often feel safest. These survey results will be combined with data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to determine how often specific fire circumstances occur and where we can most effectively focus our efforts.”
Other key findings from the report include:
- A fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds.
- 384,000 fires or 80 percent of all structure fires occurred in residential properties.
- About 85 percent of all fire deaths occurred in the home.
- 215,500 vehicle fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010, causing 310 civilian fire deaths, 1,590 civilian fire injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- 634,000 outside and other fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010 causing $501 million in property damage.
Download the full report “Fire Loss in the United States during 2010”.
Overview of 2010 U.S. Fire Experience
Number of Fires
- 1,331,500 fires were attended by public fire departments, a slight decrease of 1.3% from the year before
- 482,000 fires occurred in structures, a very slight increase of 0.3%
- 384,000 fires or 80% of all structure fires occurred in residential properties
- 215,500 fires occurred in vehicles, a decrease of 1.6% from the year before
- 634,000 fires occurred in outside properties, a decrease of 2.3%
What do these fire frequencies above mean?
- Every 24 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation.
- A fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 65 seconds, and in particular a residential fire occurs every 82 seconds.
- Fires occur in vehicles at the rate of 1 every 146 seconds, and there’s a fire in an outside property every 50 seconds
Civilian Fire Deaths
- 3,120 civilian fire deaths occurred in 2010, an increase of 3.7%
- About 85% of all fire deaths occurred in the home
- 2,640 civilian fire deaths occurred in the home (1-and-2 family dwelling homes and apartments), an increase of 2.9%
- 285 civilians died in highway vehicle fires.
- 90 civilians died in nonresidential structure fires
- Nationwide, there was a civilian fire death every 169 minutes
Civilian Fire Injuries
- 17,720 civilian fire injuries occurred in 2010, an increase of 3.9%. This estimate for civilian injuries is on the low side, because many civilian injuries are not reported to the fire service
- 13,800 of all civilian injuries occurred in residential properties, while 1,620 occurred in nonresidential structure fires
- Nationwide, there was a civilian fire injury every 30 minutes.
- An estimated $11.6 billion in property damage occurred as a result of fire in 2010, a decrease of 7.5% from last year
- $9.7 billion of property damage occurred in structure fires.
- $7.1 billion of property loss occurred in residential properties.
Intentionally Set Fires
- An estimated 27,500 intentionally set structure fires occurred in 2010, an increase of 3.8%
- Intentionally set fires in structures resulted in 200 civilian deaths, an increase of 17.7%
- Intentionally set structure fires also resulted in $585,000,000 in property loss, a decrease of 14.5%
- 14,000 intentionally set vehicle fires occurred, a decrease of 6.7% from a year ago, and caused $89,000,000 in property damage, a decrease of 17.6% from a year ago.