NFPA Reports Variances in Fire Death Rates among States

Although fire deaths in the United States have declined significantly from 5,804 in 1980 to 3,347 in 1999, there are big variations between states, according to an analysis of fire death patterns by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

10/21/2002


Although fire deaths in the United States have declined significantly from 5,804 in 1980 to 3,347 in 1999, there are big variations between states, according to an analysis of fire death patterns by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The states that recorded the lowest fire death rates are New Hampshire, Hawaii, Utah, Colorado and California, while those with the highest rates are Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia. Yet, even among these latter states, deaths have still declined over the past 20 years, according to NFPA data.

NFPA also analyzed factors relating to death rates such as education, income and the percentage of adults who smoke. Further, the report looked at government initiatives, such as a statewide fire-safety program introduced in South Carolina in the late ’80s that brought the state down from one of the highest fire death rates to the sixth lowest rate in the country by 1991.

“What this study shows is that fire deaths can be prevented. They’re not inevitable,” states the report’s author John R. Hall, Jr., Ph.D., with NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division.

For more information about NFPA’s study, visit www.nfpa.org/PressRoom/index.asp .





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