Total cost of fire up 86 percent from 1980

Published on May 7, 2010
NFPA report details full impact of fire 

May 7, 2010 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released a new report today, Total Cost of Fire in the United States, which finds that in 2007, after adjusting for inflation, the core total cost of fire has increased by 86 percent since 1980.

The complete total cost of fire for 2007 is estimated at $347 billion, making up approximately 2.5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

The complete total cost of fire is defined as the sum of economic loss (e.g., property damage, business interruption), human loss (e.g., lives lost, medical treatment, pain and suffering), and the cost of provisions to prevent or mitigate the cost of fire (e.g., fire departments, insurance, and fire protection equipment and construction).

Other key findings from the report:

  • Although the core total cost of fire increased, the economic loss due to fire decreased by 13 percent since 1980, totaling at $18.6 billion.
  • The total cost of direct property damages, reported or unreported, totaled at $16.6 billion.  This figure represents 90 percent of the economic loss.  The other 10 percent represents indirect losses, such as business interruption.
  • Human losses are estimated at $42.5 billion.

For fact sheets on the total cost of fire, please visit www.nfpa.org/research.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s Web site at www.nfpa.org.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275

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