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FIRE LOSSES

Great strides have been made in constructing fire resistant buildings, reducing the incidence of fires and improving fire suppression techniques. However, in terms of property losses, these advances have been somewhat offset by increases in the number and value of buildings. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010, on average, a fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds in the United States. A structure fire occurs every 65 seconds; a residential fire occurs every 82 seconds; a vehicle fire occurs every 146 seconds.

HOLIDAY FIRE LOSSES

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U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 240 home Christmas tree fires each year, according to a 2011 report by the National Fire Protection Association based on 2005-2009 data. These fires are responsible for an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage annually, according to the NFPA. For further information see theNFPA‘s holiday statistics.

For information about Holiday Safety and Preparedness, see our Pinterest board.

 

U.S. FIRE LOSSES, 2002-2011 (1)
Year Property loss ($ millions) Loss per capita
2002 $17,586 $61.14
2003 21,129 72.83
2004 17,344 59.23
2005 20,427 69.12
2006 20,340 68.17
2007 24,399 81.00
2008 24,734 81.34
2009 22,911 74.68
2010 20,486 66.22
2011 23,479 75.35

(1) Including allowances for FAIR Plan and uninsured losses.

Source: ISO, a Verisk Analytics company; Insurance Information Institute.

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  • Fire losses associated with homeowners insurance claims (including FAIR Plans) accounted for an estimated 55 percent of total fire losses in 2011.
  • Fire losses associated with commercial multiple peril claims accounted for an estimated 22 percent of total fire losses in 2011. Fire losses associated with fire insurance claims accounted for the remaining 24 percent.

 

 

STRUCTURE FIRES, 2002-2011 (1)
Year Number of fires Year Number of fires
2002 519,000 2007 530,500
2003 519,500 2008 515,000
2004 526,000 2009 480,500
2005 511,000 2010 482,000
2006 524,000 2011 484,500

(1) Includes public assembly, educational, institutional and residential structures, stores and offices, industry, utility, defense, storage and special structures.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

View Archived Tables

 

 

CIVILIAN (NONFIREFIGHTER) FIRE DEATHS AND INJURIES BY PROPERTY USE, 2011
Property use Civilian fire deaths Percent change from 2010 Percent of all civilian fire deaths Civilian fire injuries
Residential 2,550 -4.3% 84.8% 14,360
     1 and 2 family homes (1)   2,105 -4.3 70.0 9,485
     Apartments   415 -5.7 13.8 4,425
     Other residential (2) 30 20.0 1.0 450
Nonresidential structures (3) 90 (4) 3.0 1,275
Highway vehicles   270 -5.3 9.0 1,020
Other vehicles (5) 30 20.0 1.0 170
All other fires (6)  65 18.2 2.2 675
Total   3,005 -3.7% 100.0% 17,500

(1) Includes manufactured homes.
(2) Includes hotels and motels, college dormitories, boarding houses, etc.
(3) Includes public assembly, educational, institutional, store and office, industry, utility, storage 
and special structure properties.
(4) Less than 0.1 percent.
(5) Includes trains, boats, ships, farm vehicles and construction vehicles.
(6) Includes outside properties with value, as well as brush, rubbish and other outside locations.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

View Archived Tables

 

 

STRUCTURE FIRES BY TYPE OF USE, 2011 (1)
Property use Estimated number of fires Percent change from 2010 Property loss (2)($ millions) Percent change from 2010
Public assembly 12,500 4.2% $446 5.9%
Educational 5,000 -9.1 44 -42.1
Institutional 6,500 18.2 52 40.5
Residential 386,000 0.5 7,054 -0.4
     1 and 2 family homes (3) 274,500 -1.6 5,746 -2.5
     Apartments 95,500 5.5 1,168 13.1
     Other (4) 16,000 10.3 140 -7.3
Stores and offices 18,500 2.8 625 -14.4
Industry, utility, defense (5) 10,000 11.1 620 20.4
Storage in structures 27,000 -3.6 721 -4.6
Special structures 19,000 -5.0 131 28.4
Total 484,500 0.5% $9,693 -0.2%

(1) Estimates based on data reported by fire departments responding to the 2011 National Fire Experience Survey. May not include reports from all fire departments.
(2) Includes overall direct property loss to contents, structures, vehicles, machinery, vegetation or any other property involved in a fire. Does not include indirect losses, such as business interruption or temporary shelter costs.
(3) Includes manufactured homes.
(4) Includes hotels and motels, college dormitories, boarding houses, etc.
(5) Does not include incidents handled only by private brigades or fixed suppression systems.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

View Archived Tables

 

 

THE TEN MOST CATASTROPHIC MULTIPLE-DEATH FIRES OF 2011 (1)
Rank Month State Type of facility Deaths
1 March Pennsylvania Single-family home 7
2 March Texas Single-family manufactured home 6
3 April Washington Single-family home 6
4 May Illinois 10-unit apartment building 6
5 June Ohio Single-family home 6
6 July Minnesota Bed and breakfast 6
7 July New York Single-family home 6
8 October Kansas Grain elevator 6
9 January Washington 9-unit apartment building 5
10 January Texas Single-family home 5

(1) Fires that kill five or more people in home property, or three or more people in nonhome or nonstructural property.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

View Archived Tables

 

 

THE TEN MOST CATASTROPHIC MULTIPLE-DEATH FIRES IN U.S. HISTORY (1)
Rank Date Location/event Deaths
1 Sep. 11, 2001 New York, NY, World Trade Center terrorist attack 2,666 (2)
2 Apr. 27, 1865 Mississippi River, SS Sultana steamship 1,547
3 Oct. 8, 1871 Peshtigo, WI, forest fire 1,152
4 Jun. 15, 1904 New York, NY, General Slocum steamship 1,030
5 Dec. 30, 1903 Chicago, IL, Iroquois Theater 602
6 Oct. 12, 1918 Cloquet, MN, forest fire 559
7 Nov. 28, 1942 Boston, MA, Cocoanut Grove night club 492
8 Apr. 16, 1947 Texas City, TX, SS Grandcamp and Monsanto Chemical Co. plant 468
9 Sep. 1, 1894 Hinckley, MN, forest fire 418
10 Dec. 6, 1907 Monongha, WV, coal mine explosion 361
(1) Fires that kill five or more people in home property, or three or more people in nonhome or nonstructural property.
(2) Revised to 2,976 by government officials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

 

 

THE ELEVEN MOST COSTLY LARGE-LOSS FIRES OF 2011 (1)
($ millions)
Rank State Type of facility Estimated loss
1 Texas Wildfire $400
2 California Plastic products storage 40
3 Texas Wildfire 40
4 Texas Plastic products storage 35
5 Kentucky Chemical manufacturing plant 35
6 Michigan Vehicle parts assembly plant 22
7 California Power generation plant 20
8 South Carolina Fertilizer manufacturing plant 20
9 Nebraska Office building 20
10 North Carolina Office building 20
11 Texas Chemical manufacturing plant 20

(1) Fires/explosions causing $20 million or more in property loss.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

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THE TEN MOST COSTLY LARGE-LOSS FIRES IN U.S. HISTORY
($ millions)
      Estimated loss (1)
Rank Date Location/event Dollars when
occurred
In 2011
dollars (2)
1 Sep. 11, 2001 World Trade Center (terrorist attacks) $33,400 (3) $42,400 (3)
2 Apr. 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 350 8,700
3 Oct. 8-9, 1871 Great Chicago Fire 168 3,100
4 Oct. 20, 1991 Oakland, CA, fire storm 1,500 2,500
5 Oct. 20, 2007 San Diego County, CA, The Southern California Wildland Fires 1,800 2,000
6 Nov. 9, 1872 Great Boston Fire 75 1,400
7 Oct. 23, 1989 Pasadena, Texas, polyolefin plant 750 1,400
8 May 4, 2000 Los Alamos, NM, Cerro Grande wildland fire 1,000 1,300
9 Oct. 25, 2003 Julian, CA, Wildfire (Cedar) 1,100 1,300
10 Feb. 7, 1904 Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Conflagration 50 1,200

(1) Loss estimates are from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) records. The list is limited to fires for which some reliable dollar loss estimates exists.
(2) Adjustment to 2011 dollars made by the NFPA using the Consumer Price Index, including the U.S. Census Bureau's estimates of the index for historical times.
(3) Differs from estimates from other sources.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

View Archived Tables

 

 

LARGE LOSS FIRES

March 25, 2011, marks the 100-year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. The blaze that swept through a New York City sweatshop killing 146 garment workers ushered in a new era of fire safety in the American workplace, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The September 11, 2001, World Trade Center conflagration was the deadliest, as well as the most costly, building fire in U.S. history.

 

 

THE TWENTY DEADLIEST LARGE-LOSS FIRES IN THE UNITED STATES (1)
Rank Date Event Location Fatalities
1 Sep. 11, 2001 The World Trade Center New York, NY 2,666
2 Dec. 30, 1903 Iroquois Theatre Chicago, IL 602
3 Nov. 28, 1942 Cocoanut Grove night club Boston, MA 492
4 Apr. 21, 1930 Ohio State Penitentiary Columbus, OH 320
5 Mar. 18, 1937 Consolidated School gas explosion New London, TX 294
6 Dec. 5, 1876 Conway's Theatre Brooklyn, NY 285
7 Apr. 23, 1940 Rhythm Club Natchez, MS 207
8 Mar. 4, 1908 Lakeview Grammar School Collinwood, OH 175
9 Jan. 12, 1908 Rhodes Opera House Boyertown, PA 170
10 Jul. 6, 1944 Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Hartford, CT 168
10 Apr. 19, 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Oklahoma City, OK 168
12 May 28, 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club Southgate, KY 165
13 Mar. 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Company New York, NY 146
14 Apr. 10, 1917 Eddystone Ammunition Company plant explosion Eddystone, PA 133
15 May 15, 1929 Cleveland Clinic Hospital Cleveland, OH 125
16 Dec. 7, 1946 Winecoff Hotel Atlanta, GA 119
17 Feb. 20, 2003 The Station Nightclub W. Warwick, RI 100
18 Dec. 1, 1958 Our Lady of the Angels School Chicago, IL 95
19 Mar. 25, 1990 Happy Land Social Club New York, NY 87
20 Nov. 21, 1980 MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas, NV 85

(1) Based on deadliest single-builiding or complex fires and explosions.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

Article Source: http://www.iii.org

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