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 36 minutes
  • One civilian fire-related death occurs every 154 minutes

In 2017, 1,319,500 fires resulted in 3,400 civilian deaths and 14,670 injuries. In addition, there were 60 on-duty firefighters deaths – the lowest number reported since NFPA starting tracking firefighter deaths in 1977.

Although the number of fire-related deaths has decreased by more than half since 1977, 2017 marks the fifth consecutive increase from the record low number of deaths recorded by NFPA in 2012. The 2017 civilian fire death toll of 3,400 is less than 1% higher than the 3,390 total in 2016 and 19% 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 21% of injuries. The home fire death rate per 1,000 homes was 7.4 in 2017, a 14% increase since 2006 with a death rate of 6.5 per 1,000 homes.

  • Chart
  • Data Table
  • Chart
  • Data Table

Source: Haynes, H.J.G. (September 2017). Fire loss in the United States During 2016. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.