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Characteristics of home fire victims

Report: NFPA's "Home Fire Victims by Age and Gender"
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: December 2018


Report highlights

  • During 2011-2015, an estimated average of 2,510 people died and 12,300 more were non-fatally injured per year in reported home1 fires. These fires caused 80% of all fire deaths and 78% of all reported fire injuries in this five-year period.
  • Although people 85 and over had the highest rate of fire death and injuries per million population, they only account for 2% of the population. Consequently, the actual number of victims that age is smaller than victims in most lower-risk age groups.
  • Children under 15 accounted for 12% of the home fire fatalities and 10% of the injuries. Children under five account for 6% of the deaths and 4% of the injuries. Children below the age of 5 are now at lower risk of fire death than people over 45.
  • While smoking materials were the leading cause of home fire deaths overall, this was true only for people in the 45-84 age groups.
  • Heating was the leading cause of fire deaths in the under 5 and the 5-9 age groups.
  • Males were more likely to be killed or injured in home fires than females and accounted for larger percentages of the victims. (57% of the deaths and 54% of the injuries).

1Homes include one- or two-family homes and apartments or other multi-family housing.



Home fire deaths and injuries by age

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