Fire-related Fatalities and Injuries

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that in the United States:

  • A fire department responds to a fire every 24 seconds
  • One civilian fire-related injury occurs every 35 minutes
  • One civilian fire-related death occurs every 144 minutes

In 2018, 1,389,500 fires resulted in 3,655 civilian deaths and 15,200 injuries. In addition, there were 64 on-duty firefighter deaths – representing the eighth time in the last 10 years the death toll fell below 70.

Although the number of fire-related deaths has decreased by more than half since 1977, 2018 marks the sixth consecutive increase from the record low number of deaths recorded by NFPA in 2012. The 2018 civilian fire death toll of 3,655 is over 7% higher than the 3,400 total in 2017 and 28% higher than the record low number of deaths (2,855) in 2012. The graph below shows the vast majority of these deaths resulted from home fires.

  • Chart
  • Data Table

One- and two-family home fires account for 67% of civilian deaths and 51% of injuries. Apartment structure fires account for 10% of deaths and 22% of injuries. The home fire death rate per 1,000 homes was 7.5 in 2018, a 1% increase from 2017 with a death rate of 7.4 per 1,000 homes.

  • Chart
  • Data Table
  • Chart
  • Data Table

Source: Evarts, B. (October 2019). Fire loss in the United States During 2018. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.