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Nonresidential Building Fire Dollar-Loss Causes (2013-2022)

National estimates

The 2022 national estimates for the leading causes of nonresidential building fire dollar loss show that there were:

  • $909,700,000 loss from other unintentional, careless fires.
  • $411,300,000 loss from equipment malfunction fires.
  • $374,500,000 loss from electrical malfunction fires.
  • $307,400,000 loss from other equipment fires.

Overall trends

Overall trends in the leading causes of fire dollar loss* for the 10-year period of 2013 to 2022 show the following:

  • Other unintentional, careless fires as the leading cause of nonresidential building fire dollar loss in 9 years out of the 10-year period.
  • An 18% increase in nonresidential other unintentionally or carelessly set fire dollar loss.
    A $38,000,000 Bartlett, Illinois, warehouse fire contributed to the 2022 dollar-loss peak.
  • A 45% increase in nonresidential equipment malfunction fire dollar loss.
    A $25,000,000 Carthage, Arkansas, manufacturing fire contributed to the 2022 dollar-loss peak.
  • An 8% increase in nonresidential electrical malfunction fire dollar loss.
  • A 147% increase in nonresidential other equipment fire dollar loss.
    A $170,000,000 Earlimart, California, fire reported in a manufacturing property contributed to the 2021 dollar-loss peak.
    A $67,800,000 reported Hoboken, New Jersey, manufacturing fire contributed to the 2021 nonresidential exposure fire dollar-loss peak.
    A $26,465,000 San Francisco, California, building supply warehouse fire with several exposures and a $17,000,000 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, fire reported in a mercantile or business property contributed to the increase in nonresidential intentional fire dollar loss in 2020.
*This overall constant dollar-loss trend takes inflation into account by adjusting each year's dollar loss to its equivalent 2022 value.

Leading causes of nonresidential building fire dollar-loss (2013-2022)

(in $millions)
Other unintentional, careless708.1477.3655.6657.9560.5589.7495.7609.7585.5909.7
Equipment malfunction256.8244.1247.6189.5277.2277.0294.7291.9229.2411.3
Electrical malfunction468.8364.4481.1359.5515.5435.2470.1481.6542.0374.5
Other equipment192.8170.8286.5274.7272.3408.6316.1249.0725.0307.4
Cause under investigation174.1251.9209.2360.7235.7132.5270.4187.1292.7232.1
Other Heat184.8281.0207.1227.4201.2182.3201.1171.2172.6208.0