Published on September 1, 2016.

Number of Fires

Public fire departments responded to 1,345,500 fires in 2015, a highly significant 3.7 percent increase over the previous year.

Of these, 501,500 fires occurred in structures, a slight increase of 1.5 percent.

Of the structure fires that occurred in 2015, 365,500, or 73 percent, occurred in home structures, which include one- and two-family homes, manufactured homes, and apartments. This was a slight decrease of 0.5 percent.

There were also 174,000 fires in highway-type vehicles, an increase of 3.9 percent from the previous year.

The 639,500 fires that occurred in outside and other properties represented an increase of 4.8 percent.

Every 23 seconds, a U.S. fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. A fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 63 seconds, and a home fire occurs every 86 seconds. Fires occur in highway vehicles at the rate of one every 3 minutes 1 second, and there is a fire in outside and other properties every 49 seconds.

Civilian fire deaths

In 2015, 3,280 civilians died in fires, an increase of 0.2 percent from the previous year.

Of these, 2,560, or 78 percent of all fire deaths, occurred in the home, a decrease of 6.7 percent compared to 2014. Another 445 civilians died in highway vehicle fires, which represents 13.6 percent of all fire deaths.

Nationwide, a civilian died in a fire every 2 hours and 40 minutes, and a civilian died in a home fire every 3 hours and 25 minutes.

Civilian fire injuries

Last year, 15,700 civilian fire injuries occurred, a decrease of 0.5 percent from the previous year. Many civilian injuries are not reported to the fire service, and the estimate for civilian injuries may be low.

Of these, 13,000, or 83 percent of all civilian injuries, occurred in structure fires.

Home fires were responsible for 11,075 civilian injuries, or 71 percent of all civilian injuries, in 2015.

Another 1,550 civilian injuries, or 10 percent of all civilian injuries, occurred in highway vehicle fires.

Nationwide, there was a civilian fire injury every 33.5 minutes, and a civilian fire injury in home fires every 47.5 minutes.

Property damage

An estimated $14.3 billion in property damage occurred as a result of fire in 2015, an increase of 23.2 percent from the previous year.

Of this, $10.3 billion in property damage occurred in structure fires, including $7 billion in property loss in home fires.

A further $2 billion in property damage occurred in two major California wildfires. The losses in these wildfires includes homes, outbuildings, commercial properties, and other structures.

Highway vehicle fires resulted in $1.2 billion in property loss last year.

Intentionally set fires

An estimated 23,000 fires were intentionally set in 2015, excluding fires whose causes were unknown, a highly significant increase of 21.1 percent over the year before.

Intentionally set fires in structures also resulted in 205 civilian deaths, a highly significant increase of 30.6 percent from the previous year.

At the same time, intentionally set structure fires resulted in $460 million in property loss, a highly significant decrease of 25 percent from 2014.

There were 10,000 intentionally set vehicle fires, a highly significant increase of 25 percent from the previous year. These fires resulted in $74 million in property damage, a highly significant decrease of 36.2 percent from the year before.