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2008 US fires cost over $15.5 billion in direct property loss

In 2008, fires were the cause of over $15.5 billion in direct property loss, according to a new NFPA report
US fires in 2008 caused over $15.5 billion in direct property loss
NFPA Journal publishes new fire loss statistics

In 2008, fires caused more than $15.5 billion in direct property loss throughout the United States; fires in residential properties accounting for $8.6 billion of the total.

Findings from the newly released report "U.S. Fire Loss in the United States in 2008" appear in the latest issue of NFPA Journal®, the official magazine of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Fire departments responded to an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008. These fires resulted in 3,320 civilian fire fatalities, 16,705 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $15.5 billion in direct property loss.

Detail of fires:

  • 1,451,500 fires were attended by public fire departments, a decrease of 6.8 percent from the year before
  • 515,000 fires occurred in structures, a decrease of 2.9 percent
  • 403,000 fires (78 percent) of all structure fires occurred in residential properties
  • 236,000 fires occurred in vehicles, a decrease of 8.5 percent from the year before
  • 700,500 fires occurred in outside properties, a decrease of 8.9 percent
  • A fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation every 22 seconds

A fire occurs in ...

  • a structure every 61 seconds
  • a residential structure every 78 seconds
  • a vehicle every 134 seconds
  • an outside property every 45 seconds

Fire deaths and injuries:

  • 3,320 civilian fire deaths occurred in 2008, an increase of 3.2 percent
  • About 83 percent of all fire deaths occurred in the home
  • 2,755 civilian fire deaths occurred in the home, a decrease of 3.8 percent
  • 16,705 civilian fire injuries occurred in 2008, a decrease of 5.5 percent. This estimate for civilian injuries is on the low side, because many civilian injuries are not reported to the fire service
  • 13,560 of all civilian injuries occurred in residential properties

There was ...

  • a civilian fire death every 158 minutes
  • a civilian fire injury every 31 minutes

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