1. Residential Fires Are a Public Health Issue

Key Messages

  • In 2008, fire departments responded to 403,000 residential fires in the United States.
  • These fires killed nearly 2,755 people and injured nearly 13,560 people; 80% of civilian fire deaths and 77% of civilian fire injuries occur in residential fires.
  • In the United States, someone dies every 153 minutes and someone is injured every 30 minutes in a residential fire.
  • Deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States.
  • Fire and burn injuries cost $7.5 billion per year.
  • There are proven public health strategies that can prevent residential fires and related deaths and injuries including:
    • Education about residential fire risks and fire prevention
    • Working smoke alarms
    • Residential fire sprinklers
    • Fire escape planning and practice