US Fire Administration “Fire in the United States: 2008-2017” released

fire report

“Fire departments in the U.S. responded to over 1.3 million fire incidents in 2017.2 Each
year, thousands of Americans die, tens of thousands of people are injured and property
losses reach billions of dollars as a result of the U.S. fire problem.

“There are huge indirect costs of fire as well, including temporary lodging, lost business
revenues, medical expenses and psychological damage. To put this into context, the
annual losses from floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters combined in the U.S. average just a fraction of those from fires.

“The public, the media and local governments are generally unaware of the magnitude and seriousness of the fire problem and how it affects individuals and their families, communities and the nation.

  • By far, the largest percentage of reported deaths — 78% in 2017 — occurred on residential properties, with the majority of these on one- and two-family properties.
  • The area with the largest problem is most commonly overlooked — in people’s homes.
  • At 52%, cooking was the leading cause of residential building fires. Heating caused another 9%.

The report includes lots of data as it reinforces the critical importance of smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.

fire trendsFires are trending down while fire deaths are escalating.

To read the report in full, click on the top graphic or here.



  1. I just heard on the radio this morning that Bruce Springsteen’s 26 year old son has just joined a fire department in the USA.

  2. Firefighting is a professional endeavor merits the admiration, thanks and support of everyone. It’s not a simple move to learn everything one has to know to safely try to respond to fires in today’s world. The days of the hose lugger and sprayer are long gone. Sometimes, though leadership has not caught up to that.

    “The old adage that the fire service is ‘100 years of tradition unimpeded by progress’ no longer holds true.”

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