NFPA's "U.S. Unintentional Fire Death Rates by State"
John R. Hall, Jr.
Using data from U.S. death certificates, this report provides an extensive review of fire death tolls and rates relative to population for all 50 states, with analyses of the role of socioeconomic and other characteristics.
The long-term trend in fire death rates per million population has been sloping substantially downward for nearly every state since 1980. In the five most recent years analyzed (2006-2010), Mississippi had the highest average fire death rate, and Southeastern states accounted for eight of the ten highest rates, with Alaska and Oklahoma (which borders the southeastern states) as the other two. When the five-year average rates are compared to state differences, several factors show notable correlations, including poverty (44% of statistical variation explained), race (43%), smoking (38%), rural (36%), and education (19%). All of these findings are consistent with findings in other studies of socioeconomic and behavioral factors related to measures of fire loss.