Fire Loss in the United States During 2014. In the past twenty years, between 1995 and 2015 losses in the United States incurred in the category “Structure Fires” have remained constant with approximately 500,000 structure fires incidents per year. In that same period vehicle fires have declined at a steady pace, while outside fires trend up and down in numbers with a slightly declining rate of incidents overall. We are not doing enough to reduce the rate of structure fires, especially home fires which account for 84% of civilian fire deaths.
According to the NFPA: U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,298,000 fires in 2014. These fires resulted in 3,275 civilian fire fatalities, 15,775 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $11.6 billion in direct property loss. There was a civilian fire death every 2 hours and 41 minutes and a civilian fire injury every 33 minutes in 2014. Home fires caused 2,745, or 84%, of the civilian fire deaths.
So the question is how can we reduce the incidence of structure fire? We must make education our priority. Giving our local fire departments the initiative and resources to deliver the information, knowledge and on site reviews of the homes in their jurisdiction is critical. Using the schools in greater measure to provide instruction and curriculum that focuses on safety is also a critical in achieving our goals. I would like to see the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) actually pay-per-click to spread the knowledge of home safety. The NFPA has a great Safety Tip Sheets for download.
Thanks for helping to save lives, and please be safe!