Measurement of the Economic Impact of Fire

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In August 2016, NFPA hosted Economic Decision Making in Fire and Electrical Safety: A Workshop on Needs and Resources. The workshop brought together the fire service, enforcers, economists, researchers, and others to discuss the information and research needs around economics and fire and electrical safety. One of the major areas identified for further study is the data and information related to the total economic impact of fire. It was noted by participants that there is a need to compile and update available information on this topic and to introduce consistency on the economic data around fire. This information would be used for fact sheets or similar communications about the cost of fire.

NFPA has provided information about the total cost of fire (i.e. losses plus the costs of protection) for several years with the latest report published in March 2014. This analysis combines the losses caused by fire and the money spent for fire prevention, protection, and mitigation to prevent larger losses. While the workshop participants noted that this is an important analysis and report, they identified a need to better address indirect loss. This includes business interruption, employment,
impact on real estate values, information on the indirect costs of injury (both occupant and first responder), etc.

Research goal: To develop a toolkit of data and information related to the issue of the total economic impact of fire.

Download the project summary. (PDF)