The Number Of Deaths From Fires Each Year In The United States
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an average of 3,190 deaths and 16,225 injuries were recorded annually between the years of 2008 and 2017 due to fires. Encouragingly, the trend in deaths over this decade is significantly downward, leading to hope that the number of people losing their lives in future years will be much less than in past years.
Fire Deaths and Injuries 2008 – 2017
Interestingly, the U.S. Fire Administration states that the percentage of men and women killed and injured each year in fires are not the same. Men account for 61% of all those who are killed, and 58% of those injured in fires. This Administration does not offer an explanation as to why the deaths among men are so much higher than women; perhaps between work injuries and other activities men are around situations more likely to result in an explosion or fire than women.
Where Do Fires Occur the most in the USA?
Most fires in the USA occur on residential properties. Here’s the percentage breakdown of fires by general property type:
- Residential: 30%
- Non-Residential: 9%
- Vehicle: 14.8%
- Outside: 40.6%
- Other: 5.5%
Leading Causes of Fires in the USA
Here are the four leading causes of residential fires in 2018:
- Cooking: 50%
- Heating: 9.4%
- Unintentional, Careless 7.5%
- Electrical Malfunction 6.8%
Here are the four leading causes of non-residential fires in 2018:
- Cooking: 30.6%
- Unintentional, Careless: 11.5%
- Intentional: 9.8%
- Electrical Malfunction: 7.8%
Smoking Continues to be a Significant Cause of Fatal Residential Fires
Smoking is responsible for about one out of every 5 fatal residential fires.
Clearly, this is one area in which increased safety by smokers can significantly reduce the number of fire deaths.
Smokers, however, are not always the sole cause of fires involving cigarettes. Often, companies such as the manufacturers of furniture, curtains, and other items will have liability for fires if their products are highly susceptible to fire.
As a result, when investigating a fire that may involve smoking, we will want to understand all causes that contributed to a fire. Fire accident reconstructionists are often extremely helpful in explaining the life of a fire, and to answer questions like how a fire started, how quickly it spread, what aspects aided in the fire spread, and whether other factors could have reduced or slowed down the spread of the fire.