The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released its 2012 US Fire Loss Report, which found that there were 1,375,000 fires reported in the United States in 2012, a slight decrease of 1% from 2011. The report also found that reported fires resulted in 2,855 civilian deaths, or one civilian death for every three hours and four minutes, and 16,500 civilian injuries, or one injury for every 32 minutes. Reported fires also resulted in $12.4 billion in property damages.

Half, or 692,000, of all reported fires occurred outside, while 172,500 of the fires occurred in highway vehicles, and 480,500 fires involved structures. Structure fires in 2012 accounted for $9.8 billion in property damages. In addition, a structure fire was reported every 66 seconds in 2012.

Other noteworthy statistics found in the fire loss report include:

  • Fire departments respond to a fire every 23 seconds
  • One outside fire was reported every 46 seconds
  • One home fire was reported every 85 seconds

While it’s a good sign that the number of reported fires has slightly decreased from 2011, it’s also sobering to think that someone dies in the US as a result of fire just over every three hours. With Fire Prevention Week quickly approaching, this is a good time for you and your loved ones to learn more about fire and life safety. Fire Prevention Week is being observed October 6-12, 2013 and is themed “Prevent Kitchen Fires”. In addition to Fire Prevention Week information, NFPA has also developed a wide range of tools and resources that are available to the public for free. You can access these tools on the NFPA’s consumer safety page.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.