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 32 minutes
  • One civilian fire-related death occurs every 142 minutes

In 2019, 1,291,500 fires resulted in 3,704 civilian deaths and 16,600 injuries. In addition, there were 48 on-duty firefighter deaths – representing the first year that the annual death toll fell below 50.

Although the number of fire-related deaths has decreased by half since 1977, 2019 marks the seventh consecutive increase from the record low number of deaths recorded by NFPA in 2012. The 2019 civilian fire death toll of 3,704 is 1% higher than the 3,655 total in 2018 and 30% 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 66% of civilian deaths and 55% of injuries. Apartment structure fires account for 10% of deaths and 21% of injuries. Civilian home fire deaths per million population has decreased 63% in the last 40 years from 23.0 to 8.4 in 2019.

  • Chart
  • Data Table
  • Chart
  • Data Table

Source: Ahrens, M., & Evarts, B. (September 2020). Fire loss in the United States During 2019. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.