United States Fire Statistics

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) collects data from a variety of sources to provide information and analyses on the status and scope of the fire problem in the United States. Armed with this data, the fire service can use it to:

  • Create a baseline for evaluating programs.
  • Increase awareness.
  • Motivate corrective actions.
  • Set priorities.
  • Target public education programs.
Trend
Fires 1,319,500
in 2017
-6.2%
from 2008
Deaths 3,400
in 2017
+9.6%
from 2008
Injuries 14,670
in 2017
-15.8%
from 2008
$ Loss $23.0 billion
in 2017
+12.0%
* from 2008

* Adjusted to 2017 dollars; includes $10 billion in losses from Northern California wildfires.

What are the causes of fires?

Residential fires

Thirteen summaries describing trends in U.S. residential fires. Included are summaries for deaths, injuries, dollar loss, and leading residential fire causes.

Residential building fire causes in 2017 371,500 fires (estimated)

.4%
Playing with heat source
1.3%
Other equipment
1.4%
Cause under investigation
1.6%
Natural
2%
Exposure
2.1%
Equipment malfunction
2.1%
Smoking
3.1%
Appliances
3.3%
Other heat
4.2%
Intentional
4.3%
Open flame
6.5%
Electrical malfunction
7.1%
Unintentional, careless
9.1%
Heating
51.6%
Cooking

Total does not equal 100% due to rounding.

Causes of fatal residential building fires in 2017
1,900 fatal fires (estimated)

37.3%
All other causes
16.7%
Unintentional, careless
13.6%
Underinvestigation
13.1%
Intentional
11.8%
Smoking
7.5%
Electrical malfunction

Causes of residential building fires resulting in injuries in 2017
7,000 fires resulting in injuries (estimated)

35.2%
All other causes
32.2%
Cooking
11.8%
Unintentional,careless
7.9%
Open flame
6.6%
Electrical malfunction
6.3%
Smoking

Nonresidential fires

Nine summaries describing trends in U.S. nonresidential fires. Included are summaries for the number of fires, dollar loss, and leading nonresidential fire causes.

Nonresidential building fire causes in 2017 111,000 fires (estimated)

.3%
Playing with heat source
1.6%
Cause under investigation
2.2%
Smoking
3.3%
Natural
3.5%
Equipment malfunction
3.5%
Appliances
4.3%
Exposure
4.5%
Other equipment
5.1%
Other heat
6%
Open flame
6.9%
Heating
7.4%
Electrical malfunction
9.8%
Intentional
11.1%
Unintentional, careless
30.4%
Cooking

Total does not equal 100% due to rounding.

Causes of vehicle and outside fires

Causes of vehicle fires
204,000 vehicle fires in 2016

38.6%
Unintentional
23.1%
Undetermined
20.3%
Equipment failure
10.3%
Under investigation
4.7%
Intentional
3%
Other

Causes of outside fires
558,500 outside fires in 2016

42.8%
Unintentional
26.5%
Undetermined
16.9%
Intentional
5.1%
Under investigation
4.6%
Act of nature
4.1%
Other

Where do fires occur?

Property types

“Residential” is the leading property type for fire deaths (73.2%), fire injuries (76.5%) and fire dollar loss (54.7%).

Fires by general property type (2016)

29.1% Residential

8.3% Nonresidential

14.3% Vehicle

42.8% Outside

5.6% Other


Who does fire impact the most?

2017 California, Texas and New York led the nation in number of fire deaths.
West Virginia, Alaska and Arkansas had the most deaths per million population in the U.S.

Deaths Injuries
60.9% 59.5%
39.1% 40.5%



More men die and are injured
in fires than women.

USA

National fire death rate: 11.2

National fire injury rate: 45.1

per million population

Gender and race

African American males (19.7) and American Indian males (17.4) have the highest fire death rates per million population.

Age

People ages 85 or older have the highest fire death rate (43.0).

People ages 40-44 have the highest fire injury rate (58.4).

Firefighters and fire departments

Fire departments

There were an estimated 29,727 fire departments in 2015 (all career: 9 percent; mostly career: 6 percent; mostly volunteer: 18 percent; all volunteer: 67 percent).

Firefighters

There were an estimated 1,160,450 firefighters in 2015 (career: 345,600; volunteer: 814,850).

On-duty firefighter deaths in 2017

48 Volunteer

33 Career

6 Wildland agency

87 Firefighters died while on duty.
50 Firefighters died from heart attacks.
40 Firefighters died from activities related to an emergency incident.
17 Firefighters died from activities at a fire scene.
12 Firefighters died while participating in training activities.
11 Firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents.

Firefighter injuries

24,495 firefighters were injured on the fire ground in 2017.
Visit: National Fire Protection Association for more statistics on firefighter injuries.

United States Fire Statistics infographic Emberstone Chimney Solutions Charlotte

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