The high cost of large-loss fires
Workplaces among the facilities affected
Major or “large-loss” fires in the U.S. in 2016 cost $1.2 billion in property losses and resulted in 14 deaths and dozens of injuries, according to the latest edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) “Large-loss Fires in the United States” report. Large-loss fires are defined as events that result in property damage of at least $10 million.
There were 25 large-loss fires in 2016, resulting in a total of over $1.4 billion in direct property losses. The 25 large-loss fires include six fires — four fewer than the previous year — that resulted in more than $20 million each in direct property damage. These six fires resulted in a combined property loss of $1.2 billion, or 83.2 percent of the total large-loss tally. The loss associated with these six fires represents 11.4 percent of the annual fire loss in the U.S. for 2016.
The major property-types that had incidents were:
- Storage (24 percent)
- Special Properties (24 percent)
- Manufacturing (16 percent)
- Stores and Offices (12 percent)
Although the 25 large-loss fires accounted for only 0.002 percent of the estimated 1,342,000 structure and non-structure fires reported in 2016, they accounted for 13.2 percent of the total estimated annual dollar loss.
The 25 large-loss fires accounted for 14 civilian deaths, with another 183 civilians and eight firefighters injured.
This report includes only fire incidents for which NFPA has official dollar-loss estimates. There are other fires that may have large losses but no official information has been reported to NFPA.