Fire in the United States
Fire in the United States covers the 5-year period from 2003 to 2007
The report focuses on the national fire problem and provides an overview of fires and losses in buildings, vehicles and other mobile properties, and other properties. The report also examines fire and fire loss trends, fire casualties by population characteristics, and fire cause profiles by property type. Detailed analyses of the residential and nonresidential building fire problems will be published as stand-alone reports.
Fire in the United States is a statistical overview of fires in the United States, focusing on the latest year in which data were available at the time of preparation. The primary source of data is the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), along with data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), State Fire Marshals’ offices, U.S. Census Bureau, and the Consumer Price Index.
Fire departments in the United States responded to nearly 1.6 million fire calls in 2007. The United States fire problem, on a per capita basis, is one of the worst in the industrial world. Thousands of Americans die each year, tens of thousands of people are injured, and property losses reach billions of dollars. There are huge indirect costs of fire as well—temporary lodging, lost business, medical expenses, psychological damage, and others. These indirect costs may be as much as 8- to 10-times higher than the direct costs of fire. To put this in context, the annual losses from floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters combined in the United States average just a fraction of those from fires. The public, the media, and local governments generally are unaware of the magnitude and seriousness of the fire problem to individuals and their families, to communities, and to the Nation.
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