Today's News

1.5 million fires in 2008 killed 3,320 civilians (9/22)

In 2008, fires caused more than $15.5 billion in directly property loss. Fires in residential properties caused $8.6 billion of it. Findings from the newly released report U.S. Fire Loss in the United States in 2008 (PDF, 244 KB) appear in the latest issue of NFPA Journal®, the official magazine of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Fire departments responded to an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008. These fires resulted in 3,320 civilian fire fatalities, 16,705 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $15.5 billion in direct property loss.

  • 1,451,500 fires were attended by public fire departments, a decrease of 6.8 percent from the year before.
  • 515,000 fires occurred in structures, a decrease of 2.9 percent.
  • 403,000 fires (78 percent) of all structure fires occurred in residential properties.
  • 236,000 fires occurred in vehicles, a decrease of 8.5 percent from the year before.
  • 700,500 fires occurred in outside properties, a decrease of 8.9 percent.
  • A fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation every 22 seconds.

A fire occurs in …
  • a structure every 61 seconds
  • a residential structure every 78 seconds
  • a vehicle every 134 seconds
  • an outside property every 45 seconds.

Fire deaths and injuries
  • 3,320 civilian fire deaths occurred in 2008, an increase of 3.2 percent.
  • About 83 percent of all fire deaths occurred in the home.
  • 2,755 civilian fire deaths occurred in the home, a decrease of 3.8 percent.
  • 16,705 civilian fire injuries occurred in 2008, a decrease of 5.5 percent. This estimate for civilian injuries is on the low side, because many civilian injuries are not reported to the fire service.
  • 13,560 of all civilian injuries occurred in residential properties

There was …
  • a civilian fire death every 158 minutes
  • a civilian fire injury every 31 minutes.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

4/21/15 2:00 pm EDT

The Safety Selfie: It’s time to take a “snap shot” of your safety program and contemplate what others see

We all know perception is reality and that people perceive things differently. As a safety manager, your perception of your safety program almost certainly differs from that of your workers and your managers. We will use our “Safety Selfies” to expose weaknesses, real and perceived, and to talk about how best to make improvements.

ISHN Magazine


2015 April

Check out ISHN's April issue, which features content about lockout-tagout, heat stress, hearing protection and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.