State Fire Death Rates and Relative Risk

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The fire problem varies from region to region in the United States. This often is a result of climate, poverty, education, demographics, and other causal factors. Perhaps the most useful way to assess fire fatalities across groups is to determine the relative risk of dying in a fire. Relative risk compares the per capita rate for a particular group (e.g., Pennsylvania) to the overall per capita rate (i.e., the general population). The result is a measure of how likely a group is to be affected. For the general population, the relative risk is set at 1.

In addition to the District of Columbia, the states with the highest relative risk in 2010 included West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi. The populace of West Virginia was 3.3 times more likely to die in a fire than the general population; however, people living in Oregon, Massachusetts and Arizona were 50 percent less likely to die in a fire than the population as a whole. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia had a relative risk higher than that of the general population. Three states, Iowa, Washington and New Mexico, had a relative risk comparable to that of the general population.

Relative risk was not computed for HI, ME, ND, VT and WY due to small numbers of fire deaths which are subject to variability.

State of Occurrence Relative Risk
Alabama 2.5
Alaska 1.4
Arizona 0.5
Arkansas 1.2
California 0.6
Colorado 0.6
Connecticut 0.6
Delaware 1.4
District of Columbia 3.7
Florida 0.7
Georgia 1.5
Hawaii  
Idaho 1.1
Illinois 0.8
Indiana 1.3
Iowa 1
Kansas 1.3
Kentucky 1.6
Louisiana 1.8
Maine  
Maryland 1.1
Massachusetts 0.5
Michigan 1.2
Minnesota 0.7
Mississippi 2.3
Missouri 1.6
Montana 0.9
Nebraska 0.9
Nevada 0.6
New Hampshire 0.8
New Jersey 0.7
New Mexico 1
New York 0.7
North Carolina 1.1
North Dakota  
Ohio 1.2
Oklahoma 2
Oregon 0.5
Pennsylvania 1.2
Rhode Island 1.1
South Carolina 1.1
South Dakota 1.1
Tennessee 1.9
Texas 0.9
Utah 0.6
Vermont  
Virginia 0.9
Washington 1
West Virginia 3.3
Wisconsin 0.7
Wyoming  
2010 State Fire Death Rates and Relative Risk by State
State of Occurrence Fire Death Rate Relative Risk
Alabama 28.2 2.5
Alaska 15.4 1.4
Arizona 5.5 0.5
Arkansas 13.3 1.2
California 6.3 0.6
Colorado 7.1 0.6
Connecticut 7.0 0.6
Delaware 15.6 1.4
District of Columbia 41.3 3.7
Florida 7.6 0.7
Georgia 16.9 1.5
Hawaii
Idaho 12.1 1.1
Illinois 8.5 0.8
Indiana 14.6 1.3
Iowa 10.8 1.0
Kansas 14.0 1.3
Kentucky 17.5 1.6
Louisiana 19.8 1.8
Maine
Maryland 12.3 1.1
Massachusetts 5.6 0.5
Michigan 13.3 1.2
Minnesota 8.1 0.7
Mississippi 25.3 2.3
Missouri 18.2 1.6
Montana 10.1 0.9
Nebraska 9.8 0.9
Nevada 6.7 0.6
New Hampshire 9.1 0.8
New Jersey 7.3 0.7
New Mexico 10.6 1.0
New York 7.9 0.7
North Carolina 12.6 1.1
North Dakota
Ohio 13.9 1.2
Oklahoma 22.3 2.0
Oregon 5.7 0.5
Pennsylvania 13.5 1.2
Rhode Island 12.4 1.1
South Carolina 12.5 1.1
South Dakota 12.2 1.1
Tennessee 21.7 1.9
Texas 10.3 0.9
Utah 6.8 0.6
Vermont
Virginia 10.3 0.9
Washington 10.7 1.0
West Virginia 37.2 3.3
Wisconsin 8.1 0.7
Wyoming
United States 11.1 1.0

Notes:

  1. Fire death rates are based on all deaths in which exposure to fire, fire products, or explosion was the underlying cause of death or was a contributing factor in the chain of events leading to death. Specifically, ICD 10 Codes: F63.1, W39-W40, X00-X09, X75-X76, X96-X97, Y25-Y26, and Y35.1 were extracted for this analysis resulting in a total of 3,445 fire deaths.
  2. The fire death rates presented here reflect the crude death rates and are not age adjusted. The crude death rate is the total number of fire deaths per state divided by the total population per state and multiplied by 1,000,000. These crude death rates should not be used for comparisons between states due to the significant impact of age in mortality data and different age-distributions in different state populations.
  3. Fire death rates and relative risk not computed for HI, ME, ND, VT and WY due to small numbers of fire deaths which are subject to variability.

Sources:

  • National Center for Health Statistics. 2010 Mortality Data File, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program.
  • U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. July 1, 2010 population estimates from Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 (NST-EST2011-01), Release Date: December 2011.