Statistical Reports: Civilian Fire Casualties - Older Adults

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Topical Fire Report Series

The National Fire Data Center's Topical Fire Report Series explores facets of the U.S. fire problem that affect Americans in their daily lives. Primarily based on data collected through USFA's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), each issue briefly addresses the nature and relevance of the specific fire or fire-related problem, highlights important findings, and suggests other resources to consider for further information. Each topical report also includes recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report.

See Also: Civilian Casualties | Civilian Casualties - Children | Civilian Casualties - People with Disabilities

New: Fire Risk to Older Adults in 2010

Findings from this report:

  • Older adults continue to experience a disproportionate share of fire deaths. In 2010, older adults (age 65 or older) represented 13 percent of the United States population but suffered 35 percent of all fire deaths.
  • The relative risk of individuals age 65 or over dying in a fire was 2.7 times greater than that of the general population. The risk worsened as age increased. The relative risk for adults ages 65 to 74 was 1.9, but soared to 4.6 for those over the age of 84.
  • Older American Indians/Alaska Natives and African-Americans were at a much greater risk of dying in a fire than their Asian/Pacific Islander or white fellow citizens. Older Asian/Pacific Islanders had 20 percent less risk than the general population.
  • Older males were 62 percent more likely to die in fires than older females.
  • Older adults were more vulnerable in a fire than the general population due to a combination of factors including mental and physical frailties, greater use of medications, and elevated likelihood of living in a poverty situation.

Download Fire Risk to Older Adults in 2010 » (PDF, 479)

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