U.S. fire statistics

Trends | Causes | Where fires occur | Who fire impacts | Firefighters and fire departments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) collects data from a variety of sources to provide information and analyses on the status and scope of the fire problem in the United States. Armed with this data, the fire service can use it to:

  • Create a baseline for evaluating programs.
  • Increase awareness.
  • Motivate corrective actions.
  • Set priorities.
  • Target public education programs.

Fire in the United States (2008-2017)

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  Trend 
Fires1,318,500
in 2018
-2.5%
from 2009
Deaths3,655
in 2018
+20.5%
from 2009
Injuries15,200
in 2018
-17.0%
from 2009
$ Loss$25.6 billion
in 2018
+90.6%
* from 2009
No Large $$13.2 billion
in 2018
-3.8%
** from 2009

* Adjusted to 2018 dollars. Direct dollar loss includes: 2011 – the Bastrop County Texas Complex Wildfire ($400,000,000), 2012 – the Waldo Canyon Fire and the High Park Fire in Colorado ($567,400,000 total), 2013 – the Black Forest Fire ($420,500,000) in Colorado, 2015 – the Valley and Butte Wildfires in California ($1,950,000,000 total), 2016 – the Gatlinburg, Tennessee Wildfires ($911,000,000), 2017 – Northern California wildfires ($10,000,000,000), and 2018 – California wildfires ($12,400,000,000).

** Adjusted to 2018 dollars. Excludes the large loss fires listed above.

See: National Fire Protection Association for more statistics on U.S. fire loss.



* Adjusted to 2018 dollars
* Adjusted to 2018 dollars

What are the causes of fires?

Read our reports on the causes of residential, nonresidential, vehicle and outside fires, and fires in other places.

 

Residential fires

Fire estimate summaries of residential buildings, fire trends and causes (2009-2018) PDF 2.5 MB

Thirteen summaries describing trends in U.S. residential fires. Included are summaries for deaths, injuries, dollar loss, and leading residential fire causes.

Residential building fire causes in 2018 379,600 fires (estimated)
50.7% Cooking
9.4% Heating
7.5% Unintentional, careless
6.8% Electrical malfunction

show all causes + hide causes -

Cooking50.7%
Heating9.4%
Unintentional, careless7.5%
Electrical malfunction6.8%
Open flame4.3%
Intentional4.2%
Other heat3.4%
Appliances3.0%
Equipment malfunction2.4%
Smoking2.0%
Exposure1.8%
Natural1.6%
Cause under investigation1.3%
Other equipment1.3%
Playing with heat source0.4%

Totals may not equal 100% due to rounding.

 
Causes of fatal residential building fires in 2018
2,000 fatal fires (estimated)
Causes of residential building fires resulting in injuries in 2018
7,500 fires resulting in injuries (estimated)
 

Nonresidential fires

Fire estimate summaries of nonresidential buildings, fire trends and causes (2009-2018) PDF 1.3 MB

Nine summaries describing trends in U.S. nonresidential fires. Included are summaries for number of fires, dollar loss and leading nonresidential fire causes.

Nonresidential building fire causes in 2018 103,600 fires (estimated)
30.6% Cooking
11.5% Unintentional, careless
9.8% Intentional
7.8% Electrical malfunction

show all causes + hide causes -

Cooking30.6%
Unintentional, careless11.5%
Intentional9.8%
Electrical malfunction7.8%
Heating6.9%
Open flame5.7%
Other heat5.3%
Other equipment4.7%
Equipment malfunction3.8%
Appliances3.5%
Exposure3.4%
Natural3.2%
Smoking2.1%
Cause under investigation1.5%
Playing with heat source0.3%

Totals may not equal 100% due to rounding.

 

Causes of vehicle and outside fires

Causes of vehicle fires
212,500 vehicle fires in 2018
Causes of outside fires
509,500 outside fires in 2018

Where do fires occur?

Read our reports on where fires occur.

 

Property types

Residential is the leading property type for fire deaths (75.0%), fire injuries (77.1%) and fire dollar loss (43.3%).

Fires by general property type (2018)
30.0% Residential
9.0% Nonresidential
14.8% Vehicle
40.6% Outside
5.5% Other
 

Who does fire impact the most?

Read our reports on who fire impacts the most.

2018California, Texas and New Yorkled the nation in number of fire deaths.
Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Kansashad the most deaths per million population in the U.S.

State fire deaths State fire profiles

 
DeathsInjuries
61.0%58.7%
39.0%41.3%


More men die and are injured
in fires than women.
USA

National fire death rate: 11.7

National fire injury rate: 46.5

per million population

Gender and race

African American males (21.6) and American Indian males (17.2) have the highest fire death rates per million population.

Age

People ages 85 or older have the highest fire death rate (44.8).

People ages 50-54 have the highest fire injury rate (63.8).

More information on fire death rates for older adults and children.

 
Download fire death and injury data by gender, age and race

Firefighters and fire departments

Read our reports on fire departments and firefighters.

Fire departments (2018)

There were an estimated 29,705 fire departments (all career: 10%; mostly career: 8%; mostly volunteer: 18%; all volunteer: 64%).

See: National Fire Protection Association for more statistics on fire departments.

Firefighters (2018)

There were an estimated 1,115,000 firefighters (career: 370,000; volunteer: 745,000).

See: National Fire Protection Association for more statistics on firefighters.

On-duty firefighter deaths in 2019

34 Volunteer
25 Career
3 Wildland
 
62Firefighters died while on duty.
37Firefighters died from activities related to an emergency incident.
33Firefighters died from heart attacks.
18Firefighters died from activities at a fire scene.
12Firefighters died from activities at a non-fire scene.
8Firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents.
5Firefighters died while participating in training activities.

Firefighter injuries

22,975 firefighters were injured on the fireground in 2018.
Visit: National Fire Protection Association for more statistics on firefighter injuries.

Report: Fire-Related Firefighter Injuries Reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (2015–2017) July 2019

How we calculate fire loss statistics

These documents describe the data sources and methodology we use to calculate our fire loss estimates.

Data Sources and Methodology Documentation for the USFA Topical Fire Report Series

Data sources we use to calculate statistics

More resources for statistics