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 23 seconds
  • One home structure fire was reported every 93 seconds
  • One home fire-related injury occurs every 47 minutes
  • One home fire-related death occurs every three hours and eight minutes

In 2021, 1,353,500 fires resulted in 3,800 civilian deaths and 14,700 injuries. In addition, there were 70 non-COVID-19 on-duty firefighter deaths and 78 firefighter deaths resulted from COVID-19 in 2021.

Although the number of fire-related deaths has decreased by 42% since 1980, 2021 marks a 33% increase from the record low number of deaths recorded by NFPA in 2012 (2,855). The 2021 civilian fire death toll of 3,800 is 8.6% higher than the 3,500 total in 2020. 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 64.2% of civilian deaths and 54.4% of injuries. Apartment structure fires account for 10.5% of deaths and 21.1% of injuries. For overall home fires, the 2021 rate of 7.9 deaths per 1,000 reported home fires was 11% higher than the rate of 7.1 in 1980.

  • Chart
  • Data Table

Source: Hall, S., & Evarts, B. (September 2022). Fire loss in the United States During 2021. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.

Fahy, R.F., & Petrillo, J.T. (August 2022). Firefighter Fatalities in the US in 2021. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.