Every 17 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country, and every 85 seconds, there's a home fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s latest annual report on fire losses in the nation.

There is a civilian fire injury every 24 minutes.

The number of fire deaths in 1999 — 3,570 — decreased again, this time by 11 percent from 1998. The results confirm a positive trend of declining fire deaths.

About 80 percent of all fire deaths continue to occur in the home; 70 percent of all structure fires continue to occur in homes.

While much of the data released is encouraging, the overall number of reported fires in the country rose slightly — four percent — to 1,823,000.

There was a significant increase in property damage as a result of fire—up 16 percent from the previous year, to an estimated direct cost of slightly more than $10 billion. The report also indicates a decrease of five percent in fires known to have been deliberately set or suspected of being set.