Published on September 1, 2017.

Number of Fires

Public fire departments responded to 1,342,000 fires in 2016, a slight decrease of 0.3% over the previous year.

Of these, 475,500 fires occurred in structures, a decrease of 5.2 percent.

Of the structure fires that occurred in 2016, 352,000, or 74 percent, occurred in home structures, which include one- and two-family homes, manufactured homes, and apartments. This was a decrease of 3.7 percent.

173,000 fires occurred in highway-type vehicles, a slight crease of 0.6 percent from the previous year.

The 662,500 fires that occurred in outside and other properties represented an increase of 3.6 percent.

A U.S. fire department responds to a fire every 24 seconds. A fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 66 seconds, and a home fire occurs every 90 seconds. Fires occur in highway vehicles at the rate of one every 3 minutes 2 seconds, and there is a fire in an outside and other property every 48 seconds.

Civilian fire deaths

In 2016, 3,390 civilians died in fires, an increase of 3.4 percent from the previous year.

Of these, 2,735, or 80.7 percent of all fire deaths, occurred in homes, an increase of 6.6 percent compared to 2015.

280 civilians died in highway vehicle fires, which represents 8.3 percent of all fire deaths.

Nationwide, a civilian died in a fire every 2 hours and 35 minutes, and a civilian died in a home fire every 3 hours and 12 minutes.

Civilian fire injuries

In 2016, 14,660 civilian fire injuries occurred, a decrease of 6.6 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, 12,775, or 83 percent of all civilian injuries, occurred in structure fires.

Home fires were responsible for 10,750 civilian injuries, or 73 percent of all civilian injuries, in 2016.

1,075 civilian injuries, or 7 percent of all civilian injuries, occurred in highway vehicle fires.

Nationwide, there was a civilian fire injury every 35 minutes 51 seconds, and a civilian fire injury in home fires every 48 minutes 53 seconds.

Property damage

An estimated $10.4 billion in property damage occurred as a result of fire in 2016, a decrease of 26.9 percent from the previous year.

Of this, $7.9 billion in property damage occurred in structure fires, including $5.6 billion in property loss in home fires.

$911 million in property damage occurred in one major Tennessee wildfire. The losses in this wildfire included homes, outbuildings, commercial properties, and other structures.

Highway vehicle fires resulted in $933 million in property loss last year.

Intentionally set fires

In 2016, an estimated 20,000 fires were intentionally set, excluding fires whose causes were unknown, a decrease of 13 percent over the year before.

Intentionally set fires in structures also resulted in 310 civilian deaths, an increase of 51.2 percent from the previous year.

Intentionally set structure fires resulted in $473 million in property loss, a decrease of 2.8 percent from 2014.

There were 9,500 intentionally set vehicle fires, a decrease of 5 percent from the previous year. These fires resulted in $40 million in property damage, a decrease of 45.9 percent from year before.