Statistical Reports: Nonresidential Structure Fires

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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: Residential Structure Fires | Structure Fires

New: Nonresidential Building Fires (2009-2011)

Findings from this report:

  • An estimated 86,500 nonresidential building fires were reported to United States fire departments each year and caused an estimated 85 deaths, 1,325 injuries, and $2.6 billion in property losses per year.
  • Cooking was the leading cause of all nonresidential building fires (29 percent). Nearly all nonresidential building cooking fires were small, confined fires (97 percent).
  • Outside and special properties accounted for the most nonresidential building fires (21 percent), while storage buildings accounted for the most nonresidential building fire deaths (29 percent).
  • Nonresidential building fires occurred most frequently from 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Nonconfined nonresidential building fires most often started in vehicle storage areas (9 percent).
  • Fifty-six percent of nonconfined nonresidential building fires extended beyond the room of origin. The leading causes of these larger fires were unintentional or careless actions (19 percent), intentional actions (13 percent), and electrical malfunctions (12 percent).
  • Misuse of material or product (32 percent) was the leading factors contributing to ignition category in nonconfined nonresidential building fires.
  • Smoke alarms were not present in 52 percent of the larger, nonconfined fires in occupied nonresidential buildings.

Download Nonresidential Building Fires (2009-2011) » (PDF, 1 Mb)

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