Fire 101 | Important Fire Statistics

house fire
Three hundred ninety-nine thousand home fires were reported in the United States in 2007, according to the National Fire Protection Associationís (NFPAís) recently released Home Structure Fires report.
On average, eight people die in home fires every day in the United States - a total of 2,865 deaths. Home fires accounted for 84 percent of all civilian fire deaths and resulted in 13,600 injuries. Direct property damage was estimated at $7.4 billion. National Fire Protection Associationís (NFPAís) recently released Home Structure Fires report.
Highlights include:
  • Roughly one in three reported home fires and home fire deaths occur in December, January, and February.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of fires, civilian fire injuries, and unreported fires.
  • About 41 percent of reported home fires began in the kitchen or cooking area.
  • Smoking was the leading cause of civilian home structure fire deaths.
  • Heating ranked second in home structure fire deaths (in one- or two-family dwellings and apartments) overall, and was the leading cause of fire-related deaths in one- or two-family dwellings.
  • Heating equipment fires caused the largest percentage of direct property damage.
  • Children under five and adults 65 and over face the highest risk of home fire death.
  • Almost two thirds of home fire deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.
  • Ninety-six percent of all homes have at least one smoke alarm.
  • More than half (53 percent) of the people killed by home fires were in the room or area of origin when the fire started.
fireDuring the four-year period of 2003-2006, an estimated 378,600 home structure fires, on average, were reported per year. These fires caused an annual average of 2,850 civilian deaths, 13,090 civilian fire injuries, and $6.1 billion in direct property damage. Home fires accounted for 73% of all reported structure fires, 91% of civilian structure fire deaths, 86% of the civilian structure fire injuries, and 69% of the direct property loss.
The statistics about fires and associated losses in this analysis are national estimates of fires reported to U.S. municipal fire departments and so exclude fires reported only to Federal or state agencies or industrial fire brigades. These national estimates are projections based on the detailed information collected in Version 5.0 of the U.S. Fire Administrationís National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS 5.0) and the National Fire Protection Associationís (NFPAís) annual fire department experience survey.
During 2003-2006, a home fire was reported in one of every 326 housing units, including seasonal and unoccupied units.
NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 378,600 reported home structure fires per year during the four-year-period of 2003-2006. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,850 civilian deaths, 13,090 civilian injuries, and $6.1 billion in direct property damage per year. More than two-thirds (70%) of the reported home structure fires and 84% of the fatal home fire injuries occurred in one- or two-family dwellings, including manufactured homes. The remainder occurred in apartments or similar properties.
Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, while smoking materials are the leading causes of home fire deaths. Roughly half of all home fire deaths result from incidents reported between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Twenty-four percent of all home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom; 23% resulted from fires originating in the living room, family room, or den. Although smoke alarms operated in 52% of the reported home fires, no working smoke alarm was present in 63% of the home fire deaths. These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Fire Administrationís (USFAís) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Associationís (NFPAís) annual fire department experience survey.
FACT: Children under five and adults 65 and over face the highest risk of fire death.
U.S. Home Structure Fires
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 399,000 home1 structure fires in 2007.
These fires caused:
  • 2,865 civilian fire deaths
  • 13,600 civilian fire injuries
  • $7.4 billion in direct damage
  • Roughly 84% of all civilian fire deaths in 2007 resulted from home structure fires.
  • On average, eight people died in U.S. home fires every day. Causes and Circumstances of Home Fires
Details from the U.S. Fire Administrationís National Fire Incident Reporting System show that in 2003-2006:
  • Cooking was the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries.
  • Smoking was the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths. Heating ranked second in home fire deaths overall, but was the leading cause in one- or two-family dwellings.
63% of reported home fire deaths in 2003-2006 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. U.S. Home Structure Fires, 1/09 ix NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Division, Quincy, MA
kitchen fire
On average, a fire was reported in one of every 326 housing units. During 2003-2006, an average of 123,239,500 housing units existed in the United States.1 Dividing the total number of housing units (including seasonal and unoccupied) by the number of home fires yields a rate of one reported fire per every 326 housing units. 91% of civilian structure fire deaths resulted from fires in the home.
Based on annual averages for 2003-2006, the 378,600 reported home structure fires accounted for 73% of the 520,100 structure fires, 91% of the 3,125 civilian structure fire deaths, 86% of the 15,200 civilian structure fire injuries, and 69% of the $9.0 billion in direct property loss.
Fires between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused half of home fire deaths. Sunday was the peak day for reported home fires and home fire injuries while fatal home fire injuries were more likely to occur on Saturday. (See Table 3.) Figure 7 and Table 4 show that reported home fires peaked around the dinner hours of 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Only one-fifth (20%) of the reported home fires occurred between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Figure 8 shows that roughly half (52%) of the home fire deaths resulted from incidents reported between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. The pattern of when fires occur is similar in one-and twofamily homes and apartments.