Commercial building fires caused almost $7 billion worth of property loss during 2008

NFPA Journal publishes new fire loss statistics on the number of civilian injuries, deaths, and property loss associated with fires during the previous calendar year.

By Source: NFPA September 18, 2009

According to the newly released report , " U.S. Fire Loss in the United States in 2008 ", fires caused more than $15.5 billion in direct property loss; $6.9 billion attributable to commercial buildings. Fire departments responded to an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008 and the fires resulted in 3,320 civilian fire fatalities and 16,705 civilian fire injuries.

Some of the statistics from the report include:

• 1,451,500 fires were attended by public fire departments; a decrease of 6.8% from the year before.
• 515,000 fires occurred in structures; a decrease of 2.9%.
• 700,500 fires occurred in outside properties; a decrease of 8.9%.
• A fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation every 22 seconds.
• A fire occurs in …
o a structure every 61 seconds
o a residential structure every 78 seconds
o a vehicle every 134 seconds
o an outside property every 45 seconds.
• Fire deaths and injuries
o 3,320 civilian fire deaths occurred in 2008, an increase of 3.2%.
o About 83% of all fire deaths occurred in the home.
o 2,755 civilian fire deaths occurred in the home, a decrease of 3.8%.
o 16,705 civilian fire injuries occurred in 2008, a decrease of 5.5%. This estimate for civilian injuries is on the low side, because many civilian injuries are not reported to the fire service.
o 13,560 of all civilian injuries occurred in residential properties