Trends and patterns of U.S. fire losses

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"Trends and Patterns of U.S. Fire Losses" report (PDF, 911 KB)

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Report: NFPA's "Trends and Patterns of U.S. Fire Losses" (PDF)
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: January 2017

This report provides a broader context and historical perspective for the results from NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey that were published in NFPA’s annual report, Fire Loss in the United States. Fire losses are reviewed by incident. Trends in fires and non-fires are discussed. Numerous graphs illustrate the points.

Report highlights

  • Fire departments do far more than fight fires.  In 2015, only 4% of all fire department responses were to fires.
  • Home fires still cause the majority of all civilian fire deaths, civilian injuries and property loss due to fire.
  • Vehicle fires and outside or unclassified fires fell more than structure fires over the past 15 years.
  • Despite the decline in reported fires, fire department responses have nearly tripled from 11,888,000 total incidents in 1985 to 33,602,500 in 2015.
  • These findings highlight the diverse responsibilities of the fire service and the continued threat of fire to the U.S. population.


Fire department responses by incident type