Open navigation

Economic Impact of Fire: Cost and Impact of Fire Protection in Buildings

Report: NFPA's "Economic Impact of Fire: Cost and Impact of Fire Protection in Buildings"
Author: Dr. Ruben Van Coile, Dr. Andrea Lucherini, Ranjit Kuman Chaudhary, Ghent University; Dr. Shuna Ni and Dr. David Unobe Utah State University; Dr. Thomas Gernay Johns Hopkins University
Issued: August 2022



The economic impact of fire needs to be considered in macro scale, the national impact of fire, and in micro scale, the cost of fire protection and its potential return of investment. NFPA has traditionally been the recognized source of information on the national economic impact of fire through our study on the cost of structure fire. This study has however identified several gaps in the data available on cost of fire and hence further research is needed to provide a more comprehensive study.
With a continued focus on bringing the cost of construction down and with fire protection measures being a significant portion of the construction cost of new buildings it is necessary to provide updated models for calculating the fire protection part of building construction expenditure.
To justify the investment in fire protection the question is often asked about the return on investment. Whereas the total cost of fire shows the total loss and expenditure due to fire the impact of fire protection specifically is not identified. To better understand the impact of installing fire protection in buildings the cost of this needs to be considered in relation to the potential property loss in case of fire. However, there is no method that has been applied to calculate this at present. Therefore, the Fire Protection Research Foundation initiated this study to recommend an updated calculation model for the fire protection part of building construction expenditure as used in the Total Cost of Fire study that is more holistic and includes the impact of protection on property loss. In addition, a micro-scale methodology was developed and applied to five case studies.