Home and Community Safety & Health Safety

Civilians account for 75% of all injuries from residential fires: USFA

Photo: Neustockimages/iStockphoto

Emmitsburg, MD — Someone is injured in a residential building fire every 45 minutes in the United States, according to data published in the July edition of the U.S. Fire Administration’s “Topical Fire Report Series.”

The data, gathered from the National Fire Incident Reporting System, indicates an estimated 11,650 civilians were injured in 7,200 residential building fires from 2017 to 2019, accounting for three-quarters of all estimated injuries in such fires.

Cooking was the leading cause of residential building fires resulting in injuries over the three-year period, at 31%. Additionally, 33% of civilian injuries resulted from attempting to control a fire, followed by trying to escape (29%).


Other data highlights:

  • Of the injured victims, 49% were asleep, while 17% were “possibly impaired by alcohol.”
  • The most common injuries were linked to smoke inhalation and thermal burns, accounting for 79% of all injuries.
  • 33% of the injuries occurred in bedrooms.
  • 17% percent of the blazes occurred between 5 and 8 p.m.

USFA recommends properly installing and maintaining fire alarms to provide an early warning signal to everyone in a home if a fire occurs. “Smoke alarms help save lives and property,” the administration says.

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