fireEvery 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the U.S., according to a new report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). "Fire Loss in the United States in 2012" provides a comprehensive look at fire in the United States, including civilian fire deaths and injuries, property damage and intentionally set fires.

In 2012, there were:

  • 1,375,500 fires responded to by public fire departments
  • 2,855 civilian deaths
  • 16,500 injuries as result of fire

The number of structure fires has steadily declined in recent years, from their peak in 1977 of 1,098,000 to 480,500 in 2012.

Last year, there was:

  • a civilian fire injury every 32 minutes
  • a civilian fire death every 3 hours and 4 minutes
  • a home fire occurred every 85 seconds, which accounted for 76 percent of all structure fires.
  • homes were also where the majority of civilian fire injuries and deaths occurred, accounting for 78 percent of fire injuries and 83 percent of fire deaths.

Other key findings from the report:

  • property damage of roughly $12.4 billion occurred as result of fire
  • $7 billion of property loss was from home fires
  • $1.1 billion was lost in highway vehicle fires
  • amount of property damage that occurred as result of fires increased by nearly 7 percent
  • intentionally set fires in structures decreased across the board
  • reduction in structure fires of 5.7 percent.
  • reduction in civilian deaths in structures of 5.3 percent
  • reduction in property damage in structures of 3.3 percent

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a nonprofit organization whose goal 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. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at