Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
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Fire Loss in the United States in 2012
Published:  27 September, 2013
FIre Loss in the US

Figures show decrease in number of fires, fire fatalities and injuries, but increase in property damage costs.

US fire departments responded to an estimated 1,375,000 fires in 2012, which resulted in 2,855 civilian fire fatalities, 16,500 civilian fire injuries, and an estimated $12,427,000,000 in direct property loss.

Key findings

Number of fires

• 1,375,500 fires were responded to by public fire departments, a slight decrease of 1.0% from the year before.

• 480,500 fires occurred in structures, a very slight decrease of 0.8%.

• 365,000 fires or 76% of all structure fires occurred in home structures (1- and 2- family homes and apartments) a very slight decrease of 1.3%.

• 172,500 fires occurred in highway vehicles, a decrease of 8.0% from the year before.

• 692,000 fires occurred in outside properties, a slight increase of 0.9%.

Civilian fire deaths

• 2,855 civilian fire deaths occurred in 2012, a decrease of 5.0%.

• 2,380 civilian fire deaths occurred in the home or 83% of all fire deaths, a decrease of 5.6%.

• 300 civilians died in highway vehicle fires.

Civilian fire injuries

• 16,500 civilian fire injuries occurred in 2012, a decrease of 5.7%. This estimate for civilian injuries is on the low side, because many civilian injuries are not reported to the fire service.

• 12,875 of all civilian injuries occurred in home fires.

• 800 civilians were injured in vehicle fires.

Property damage

• An estimated $12.4 billion in property damage occurred as a result of fire in 2012, an increase of 6.6% from last year.

• $9.8 billion of property damage occurred in structure fires.

• $7.0 billion of property loss occurred in home fires.

• $1.1 billion of property loss occurred in highway vehicle fires.

Intentionally set fires

• An estimated 26,000 intentionally set (not including any allocation of fires with unknown cause), a decrease of 1.9%.

• Intentionally set fires in structures resulted in 180 civilian deaths, a decrease of 5.3%.

• Intentionally set structure fires also resulted in $581,000,000 in property loss, a decrease of 3.3%.

• 12,500 intentionally set vehicle fires occurred, a decrease of 3.9% from a year ago, and caused $480,000,000 in property damage, a highly significant increase of 445% from a year ago. This increase is mostly due to the intentionally set fire to the USS Miami (submarine) which was in for repairs and resulted in an estimated $400,000,000 in property damage.

You can download the full report here