U.S. Fire Deaths Reach All-Time Low According to NFPA Report

Every 23 seconds a fire department responds to a fire in the U.S.

Every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the U.S., according to a new report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The report also showed that there were less civilian fire deaths in 2012 than any other year on record.

Fire Loss in the United States in 2012 provides a comprehensive look at fire in the United States, including civilian fire deaths and injuries, property damage, and intentionally set fires. Some statistics from the report include the following.

In 2012, there were:

  • 1,375,500 fires responded to by public fire departments
  • 2,855 civilian deaths
  • 16,500 injuries as result of fire

Last year, there was:

  • a civilian fire injury every 32 minutes
  • a civilian fire death every 3 hours and 4 minutes
  • a home fire every 85 seconds, which accounted for 76 percent of all structure fires

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Of the 31,843,000 total calls to fire departments, over two-thirds were EMS or rescue call; only four percent were to actual fires.
  • The number of structure fires has steadily declined in recent years, from their peak in 1977 of 1,098,000 to 480,500 in 2012.
  • Homes were where the majority of civilian fire injuries and deaths occurred, accounting for 78 percent of fire injuries and 83 percent of fire deaths.
  • Property damage of roughly $12.4 billion occurred as result of fire.
  • $7 billion of property loss was from home fires.
  • $1.1 billion was lost in highway vehicle fires.
  • The amount of property damage that occurred as result of fires increased by nearly seven percent.
  • Intentionally set fires in structures decreased across the board:

    • reduction in structure fires of 5.7 percent
    • reduction in civilian deaths in structures of 5.3 percent
    • reduction in property damage in structures of 3.3 percent

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.