Statistical Reports: Civilian Fire Casualties - Older Adults
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 2007
Findings from this report:
- The elderly continue to experience a disproportionate share of fire deaths: In 2007, older adults (aged 65 and older) represented 13 percent of the U.S. population but suffered more than 30 percent of all fire deaths.
- The relative risk of individuals aged 65 and over dying in a fire is 2.6 times greater than that of the general population. The risk worsens as age increases. The risk for adults ages 65 to 74 is 1.9, but soars to 4.4 for those over the age of 84.
- Older American Indians/Alaska Natives and African-Americans are at much greater risk of dying in a fire than their Asian/Pacific Islander or White fellow citizens. Older Asian/Pacific Islanders have nearly the same relative risk as the general population.
- Older males are 52 percent more likely to die in fires than older females.
- The elderly are 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 2007 » (PDF, 478)
- Fire Risk to Older Adults (PDF, 440 Kb, Volume 4, Issue 9 - December 2004)
- Fire Risk to Older Adults in 2004 (PDF, 444 Kb, Volume 7, Issue 7 - April 2008)
- Fire Risk to Older Adults in 2007 (PDF, 478 Kb, Volume 11, Issue 10 - February 2011)
- Older Adults and Fire (PDF, 128 Kb, Volume 1, Issue 5 - December 2001)
- Residential Building Fires Involving Individuals with Physical Disabilities (PDF, 899 Kb, Volume 12, Issue 6 - July 2011)
- Residential Fires and Older Adult Casualties (PDF, 395 Kb, Volume 5, Issue 3 - June 2005)