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Latest estimates of major fire causes

What should I know about NFPA’s fire statistics?

NFPA’s statistics are estimates based on fires reported to local fire departments. Adjustments have been made to compensate for incomplete reporting and inconsistent or missing data. The number of fires and deaths can fluctuate from year to year.

Where does the data come from? 

Only fires reported to fire departments are included in our estimates. Fires handled exclusively by individuals, industrial fire brigades, or state or federal agencies are not included.   Detailed information about fire causes and circumstances comes from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). NFIRS participation is voluntary at the state level with different states having different reporting requirements, ranging from mandatory for all incidents to completely voluntary.

NFPA’s annual fire experience survey allows estimates to be made of the big picture of the fire problem- how many structure, vehicle or other fires, how many fire deaths and injuries, and how much property loss. However, the survey collects summary data and does not collect detailed information needed to identify specific fire problems. By dividing totals derived from the survey by the totals from NFIRS, we develop multipliers that we can use with the NFIRS totals to compensate for departments who do not participate in NFIRS.

Read more about how NFPA estimates fires and fire losses.

2014 latest estimates of major fire causes