Fire Safety Statistics
In 2020, fire departments responded to an estimated 1.4 million fires in the United States. These fires caused 3,500 civilian fire deaths and 15,200 reported civilian fire injuries. Property damage was estimated at $21.9 billion.
Report: NFPA's "Fire Loss in the United States During 2020"
Author: Marty Ahrens and Ben Evarts
Issued: September 2021
The Hard Facts
Every day, at least one child dies from a home fire and another 293 children are injured from fires or burns. Ninety percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires. Home fires can spread rapidly and leave families as little as two minutes to escape after an alarm sounds. (Safe Kids, 2013)
Children under 5 years of age are at the greatest risk from home fire death and injury; their death rate is nearly twice the national average. Each year, nearly 488 children ages 14 and under die in home fires, and another 116,600 children are injured from a fire/burn related incident. (Karter, 2010)
Often, children do not learn proper fire safety behavior such as dropping and rolling on the ground if clothing catches fire, crawling instead of running out of a house, or covering their mouths if it is smoky. Fire safety education is important and is powerful in preparing families and children for a fire emergency, especially when practiced.
Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen. Residential fire incidents peak from 5:00pm to 7:00pm during dinner preparation. Although fire incidents drop when people sleep, deaths are at their highest late at night and in the early morning hours. More than half of residential fire deaths occur in fires that start between 11:00pm and 7:00am. The peak night hours are from 2:00am to 5:00am, when most people are in a deep sleep. Sixty-two percent of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in home with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. (NFPA)
Top Fire Safety Tips
- Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent.
- For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
- Teach kids never to play with matches, lighters or fireworks.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and a phone close by in case of an emergency.
- Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire.
- Teach children to get low and get out when they hear the smoke alarm.
- Use safety in the kitchen. limit distractions when cooking and don't leave a hot oven or stove unattended.
References and Resources:
National Fire Protection Association. Fast Facts about Fire. 2013.
National Fire Protection Association. Fire Loss in the United States. 2019.
Safe Kids Worldwide. Burns and Fire Safety Fact Sheet. 2015. (PDF)
Safe Kids Worldwide. Fire Safety Hard Facts/Top Tips. 2013.
Safe Kids Worldwide. Infographic Fire Safety (PDF)
United States Fire Administration. Fire Prevention and Safety Outreach Materials
For more information on Severe Weather Safety visit: Ready.gov