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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: February 2023


Errata issued February 7, 2023. Download the errata. (PDF)


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.

The total cost of fire shows the total loss and expenditure due to fire. However, 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. Currently, there is no method that has been applied to calculate this. 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 selected case studies. 

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.