The following information was provided by
the National Fire Protection Association.
The U.S. has one of the highest fire
death rates in the industrialized world. For 2001, exclusive of the events
of September 11, the U.S. fire death rate was 13.4 deaths per million
Between 1992 and 2001, an average of
4,266 Americans lost their lives and another 24,913 were injured annually
as the result of fire. These averages do not reflect the events of
About 100 firefighters are killed each
year in duty-related incidents.
Each year, fire kills more Americans
than all natural disasters combined.
At least 80 percent of all fire deaths
occur in residences.
Between 1992 and 2001, an average of 1.9
million fires were reported each year. Many others go unreported, causing
additional injuries and property loss.
In 2001, direct property loss due to
fires was an estimated $10.6 billion. Additionally, $33.4 billion in
property was lost due to the events of September 11, 2001.
Where Fires Occur
There were 1,734,500 fires in the United
States in 2001. Of these:
50% were Outside Fires
30% were Structure Fires
20% were Vehicle Fires
Residential fires represent 23 percent
of all fires and 76 percent of structure fires.
Fires in 1-2 family dwellings most often
start in the:
Living Room 8.6%
Laundry Area 5.0%
Apartment fires most often start in the:
Living Room 6.4%
Laundry Area 3.5%
The South has the highest fire death
rate per-capita with 17.8 civilian deaths per million population.
81% of all civilian fire deaths occur in
Causes of Fires and Fire Deaths
Cooking is the leading cause of home
fires in the U.S. It is also the leading cause of home fire injuries.
Cooking fires often result from unattended cooking and human error, rather
than mechanical failure of stoves or ovens.
Careless smoking is the leading cause of
fire deaths. Smoke alarms and smolder-resistant bedding and upholstered
furniture are significant fire deterrents.
Arson is both the second leading cause
of residential fires and residential fire deaths. In commercial
properties, arson is the major cause of deaths, injuries and dollar loss.
Heating is the third leading cause of
residential fires. Heating fires are a larger problem in single family
homes than in apartments. Unlike apartments, the heating systems in single
family homes are often not professionally maintained.
Who is Most at Risk (1994-1998)
Senior citizens age 65 and over and
children under the age of 5 have the greatest risk of fire death.
The fire death risk among seniors over
65 is more than double; over age 75 triple; over age 85, 3 and one half
times the average population.
Children under the age of 10 accounted
for an estimated 22.2 percent of all fire deaths.
Men die or are injured in fires almost
twice as often as women.
African Americans and American Indians
have significantly higher death rates per capita than the national
Although African Americans comprise 13
percent of the population, they account for 26 percent of fire deaths.
What Saves Lives (1994-1998)
A working smoke alarm dramatically
increases a person's chance of surviving a fire.
Over 90 percent of U.S. homes have at
least one smoke alarm. However, these alarms are not always properly
maintained and as a result might not work in an emergency. There has been
a disturbing increase over the last ten years in the number of fires that
occur in homes with non-functioning alarms.
It is estimated that over 39 percent of
residential fires and 52 percent of residential fatalities occur in homes
with no smoke alarms.
Residential sprinklers have become more
cost effective for homes. Currently, few homes are protected by them.
National Fire Protection Association 2001 Fire Loss in the U.S., National
Fire Protection Association 2001 U.S. Fire Problem, National Fire Protection
Association Home Fire Casualties by Age and Sex, and National Fire Data
Center Fire in the United States 1989-1998 12th Edition
To discuss residential or business fire
sprinkler systems, call (281) 855-1970,