Fire in Industrial or Manufacturing Properties

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Report: NFPA's "Fires in U.S. Industrial or Manufacturing Properties" (PDF, 1 MB)
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: April 2016

Industrial and manufacturing properties include properties with a variety of property uses, including manufacturing and processing, agriculture, utility or distribution systems, energy production, laboratories, mines or quarries, and forest, timberland, or woodlands. Fires in these properties may involve structures, vehicles, or outside or unclassified fires. Based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System and the Fire Experience Survey, we estimated annual fires and losses during 2009-2013. 

Report highlights

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing properties each year, with annual losses from these fires estimated at 18 civilian deaths, 279 civilian injures, and $1 billion in direct property damage. 
  • Structure fires accounted for 20% of the fires, but 47% of civilian deaths, 82% of civilian injuries, and 69% of direct property damage.
  • Heating equipment (14% of total) and shop tools and industrial equipment (also 14% of total) were the leading causes of structure fires in industrial or manufacturing facilities.
  • A mechanical failure or malfunction was a factor contributing to the ignition of one in four structure fires (24%) in industrial or manufacturing properties, accounting for 23% of civilian injuries and 21% of direct property damage.  

Fires in industrial or manufacturing properties by incident type, 2009-2013

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