Report: U.S. Fire Problem Among World’s Worst

United States Fire Administrator Kelvin J. Cochran has released the 15th edition of a comprehensive report that focuses on the national fire problem and provides an overview of fires and related losses in buildings, vehicles and other mobile properties.

The report, titled Fire in the United States, covers the 5-year period from 2003-2007 with a primary focus on 2007. It was developed in an effort to aid the fire service, local leadership and the public with information that may be used to set priorities, establish and evaluate specific fire programs, and serve as a guide for data analyses at state and local levels of government.

According to the report, fire departments in the U.S. responded to more than 1.5 million fire dispatches in 2007. Stating the U.S. fire problem, per capita, as one of the worst in the industrial world, the report says fire is to blame for thousands of deaths each year, tens of thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars in property losses

“Since the inception of the United States Fire Administration in 1974, we have endeavored to provide the fire and emergency services the data it needs to combat the fire problem which still exists in the country,” says Cochran. “This 15th edition of the Fire in the United States will emphasize the areas which still need improvement so we may continue to reduce the nation’s fire losses, especially deaths and injuries.”

The report also examines fire and fire loss trends, fire casualties by population characteristics and causal profiles by property type. Detailed analyses of the residential and nonresidential building fire problems will be published as standalone reports.

The primary source for the report included data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), State Fire Marshals’ offices, U.S. Census Bureau, and the Consumer Price Index.

Fire in the United States can be downloaded from the USFA Web site.

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