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Topical Fire Report Series July 2021 | Volume 21, Issue 4

Civilian Fire Injuries in Residential Buildings (2017‑2019)

While the loss of our possessions in a fire can be upsetting, the physical injuries and psychological impacts that fires can inflict on our lives are often far more devastating. The great majority of civilian fire injuries that occur each year result from home fires. This report describes the characteristics of civilian fire injuries in residential buildings reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System for 2017‑2019.

Download the full 15-page report

At a Glance

Annually, from 2017 to 2019, an estimated
civilian fire injuries
resulted from 7,200 residential building fires resulting in injuries.


From 2017 to 2019, civilian fire injuries in residential buildings accounted for 75% of all estimated fire injuries.

stopwatch showing 45 seconds

On average, someone is injured in a residential building fire every 45 minutes.

clock face with arrow between 5 and 8 p.m.

The peak period from 5 to 8 p.m. accounted for 17% of the residential fires resulting in injuries.

calendar icons for January and March

January (10%) and March (10%) had the highest incidence of residential building fires resulting in injuries.

icon frying pan with 31% overlaid

Cooking (31%) was the leading cause of residential building fires that resulted in injuries.

icon for injured person

Of the civilian fire injuries that occurred in residential buildings, 33% resulted from trying to control a fire; an additional 29% occurred while the victim was attempting to escape.

Smoke inhalation
thermal burns
were the primary symptoms resulting in injury, accounting for 79% of all injuries resulting from residential building fires.

person sleeping in a bed

The leading human factor contributing to injuries in residential building fires was being “asleep” (49%).