Fire loss in the United States

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Report: NFPA's "Fire Loss in the United States During 2015"
Author: Hylton J.G. Haynes
Issued: September 2016

This report contains overall statistics from the NFPA survey of fire departments on fires, civilian deaths and injuries, and property damage in 2015. It also includes patterns by major property class, region and community size as well as information on types of fire department calls and false alarms. Fires that occur in sparsely populated areas protected primarily by State and Federal land management agencies are not likely to be included in the survey results.

Key findings

  • Over the last 15 years the total number of fires that local municipal fire departments reported continues to be on a downward trend for a decrease of 21%. Over this same period, however, the number of structure fires has remained relatively constant.
  • Fires are still fatal. 78% of all fire deaths occur in home fires. 
  • In communities with less than 5,000 population, the frequency of fires per thousand population is higher and the rate of civilian fire deaths is significantly worse than in larger communities.
  • Average loss per structure has remained relatively unchanged since 1977 where it was $14,600 and $20,700 in 2015, per structure in 2015 dollars.
  • In 2015, 64% of fire department responses were medical aid (ambulance, EMS, rescue) responses.

Fires in the United States infographic