U.S. Structure Fires in Nursing homes

Report: NFPA's "U.S. Structure Fires in Nursing Homes"
Author: Jennifer D. Flynn
Issued: September 2008

This report provides an overview of the fire problem in nursing homes. Includes trend tables, causes, time of day, day of week, month of year and area of origin. Also includes published incident descriptions, published articles and investigation reports and summaries.


In 2002-2005, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 2,810 nursing home structure fires, annually. These fires caused an annual average of 16 civilian deaths, 130 civilian injuries, and $6.6 million in direct property damage. In this report, nursing home refers only to nursing homes licensed by the state, providing 24-hour nursing care for four or more persons. These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) annual fire department experience survey. More than half of the fires in these properties were caused by cooking, but fires that started with mattresses or bedding material or electrical wire or cable insulation caused a disproportionate share of the casualties and injuries.

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