Annual Property Loss From Residential Fires Exceeds $6B

EMMITSBURG, Md.—The U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Data Center has released two reports focusing on the causes and characteristics of fires in one- and two-family and multifamily residential buildings.

An estimated 253,500 fires in one- and two-family residential buildings,  which include duplexes and mobile homes not in transit, occur each year in the United States, according to the report “One- and Two-Family Residential Building Fires.”  Annually, these fires are responsible for 2,150 civilian fire deaths,  8,775 civilian fire injuries and $5.3 billion in property loss.

Additionally, there are an estimated 108,400 fires that occur in multifamily buildings (apartments, townhouses, condominiums) each year resulting in 450 deaths, 3,800 injuries and $1.1 billion in property loss, according to the “Multifamily Residential Building Fires” report.

The studies are part of the Topical Fire Report Series and are based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for 2005 to 2007. Report data shows that cooking is the leading cause of both one- and two-family and multifamily residential building fires, followed by heating. Fire incidence in both types of residential properties peaks during winter months partially as a result of increases in heating and holiday-related fires, according to the study. In addition, fires peak over the evening dinner hours in one- and two-family and multifamily residences when cooking fires are prevalent.


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