Firefighter injuries in the United States

More information
"Firefighter Injuries in the United States" report (PDF, 1 MB)
Errata incorporated June 24, 2016. Download the errata. (PDF)

Related information
"Firefighter Injuries and Fireground Operations" report (PDF, 286 KB), May 2015

"Trends in Firefighter Injuries" report (PDF, 438 KB), May 2015

"An Analysis of Volunteer Firefighter Injuries, 2012-2014" report

Addendum to U.S. Experience with Sprinklers: Impact of Home Sprinklers on Firefighter Injuries, May 2012 (PDF, 63 KB)

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Report: NFPA's "U.S. Firefighter Injuries - 2014" (PDF, 1 MB)
Author: Hylton J.G. Haynes and Joseph L. Molis
Issued: November 2015

The report includes statistics on line-of-duty firefighter injuries from NFPA’s survey of fire departments – including non-incident-related injuries, trends, and brief narratives on selected incidents. This report focuses on acute injuries and recorded exposures versus chronic pathologies. Fireground injuries occur at the fire emergency scene and the surrounding area. Non-fireground injuries are all other injuries that occur outside of the fireground, these include responding and returning from incidents, non-fire emergencies, training and other on-duty activities.

  • 63,350 firefighter injuries were reported in the U.S in 2014.  Of these, 27,015 were injuries at the fireground.
  • The number of fireground injuries per 1,000 fires has remained relatively constant for the past 20 years, which reinforces the need for continued standards development, as well as fire prevention outreach and advocacy.
  • Strain, sprain, muscular pain resulted in more than half the major types of injuries received during fireground operations (53%) and non-fireground injuries (59%).
  • In addition to injuries, there were 7,700 documented exposures to infectious diseases (e.g., hepatitis, meningitis, HIV, other) in 2014. This amounts to 1 exposure per 2,500 emergency medical service runs by fire departments.
  • There were an estimated 18,500 documented exposures to hazardous conditions (e.g. asbestos, chemicals, fumes, radioactive materials, other) in 2014. This amounts to 1 exposure per 55 hazardous condition runs by fire departments.

Fireground Injuries By Cause 2014