The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) issued a special report recently examining the characteristics of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings.
The report, Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings, was developed by USFA’s National Fire Data Center and is based on 2008 to 2010 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).
According to the report:
- Ninety-two percent of all civilian fatalities in residential building fires involve thermal burns and smoke inhalation.
- The leading specific location where civilian fire fatalities occur in residential buildings is the bedroom (55 percent).
- Fifty percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This period also accounts for 47 percent of fatal fires.
- Thirty-six percent of fire victims in residential buildings were trying to escape at the time of their deaths; an additional 35 percent were sleeping.
- “Other unintentionally set, careless” actions and “smoking” (each accounting for 16 percent) are the leading causes of fatal residential building fires.
- Appliance fires produced 1,351 fatalities per 1,000 fatal fires.
- Approximately 44 percent of civilian fatalities in residential building fires are between the ages of 40 and 69. Thirteen percent of the fire fatalities in residential buildings were less than 10 years old.