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NFPA releases report on high-rise building fires

December 7, 2011

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Quincy, MA – An average of 53 fatalities and 546 injuries occurred as a result of fires in high-rise buildings each year between 2005 and 2009, according to a new report (.pdf file) from the National Fire Protection Association.

An average of 15,700 high-rise structure fires were reported each year. Fires at high-rise apartments, hotels, offices and health care facilities accounted for half of all high-rise fires for each year tracked in the study.

Researchers found that high-rises had less risk of fire incidence, fire-related fatalities and direct property damage compared with shorter buildings. High-rise building fires accounted for only 3 percent of all fire department-reported structure fires between 2005 and 2009, the report stated. The report identified increased use of automatic fire protection equipment and fire-resistive construction components in high-rises as possible reasons for the differences in risk between comparable building types.

High-rises were identified as buildings 75 or more feet tall, which roughly equates to seven stories, according to the report.

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