Report: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires"
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: April 2013
NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 366,600 home structure fires per year during the five-year-period of 2007-2011. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,570 civilian deaths, 13,210 civilian injuries, and $7.2 billion in direct property damage per year. Almost three-quarters (71%) of the reported home structure fires and 84% of the home fire deaths occurred in one- or two-family homes, including manufactured homes. The remainder occurred in apartments or other multi-family housing.
Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and non-fatal home fire injuries. Smoking materials are still the leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of all home fire deaths result from incidents reported between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. One-quarter (25%) of all home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom; another quarter (24%) resulted from fires originating in the living room, family room, or den; and 16% were caused by fires starting in the kitchen. Three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in which no smoke alarms were present or in which smoke alarms were present but did not operate. Compared to other age groups, older adults were more likely to be killed by a home fire.
These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) annual fire department experience survey.