NFPA and Fire Protection Research Foundation release new Fire in the U.S. report

NFPA and Fire Protection Research Foundation release new Fire in the U.S. report | #ESC_LLC #FireCode #Report #FireReport | Seminal research highlights factors that have reduced loss since the America Burning report was released in 1973 and areas where work is still needed (nfpa)

Fire Safety in the United States since 1980June 10, 2021 – Much has changed in the nearly five decades since the America Burning report was issued in 1973 and revisited in 1980. The number of fires and fire deaths in the United States has reduced dramatically and that progress has unfortunately led to fire safety taking a back seat to other societal concerns that seem more pressing. To understand the headway that has been made and the challenges that remain, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) commissioned the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the association’s affiliate, to examine the current state of fire safety in the United States. The new seminal report, Fire in the United States Since 1980, Through the Lens of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, is expected research to be a key document with valuable insights that will help to advance fire and life safety.

While the report references success in several occupancies such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and hotels, the main focus that emerged from the study is residential fires. Homes have consistently accounted for the largest share of reported structure fires and most of the civilian fire deaths and injuries. And although there have been fewer fires in the U.S. than in past decades, statistically, if a home fire is reported, occupants are more likely to die today than 40 years ago. In fact, research shows that:

  • Every 24 seconds, a U.S. fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country
  • Nationwide, a civilian dies in a fire every 3 hours and 10 minutes
  • In the U.S., a home fire injury occurs every 43 minutes

The 63-page Fire in the United States Since 1980, Through the Lens of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem report shows, in part, that:

  1. Protect your investment with an ESC Automatic Sprinkler System (image)The most successful recipe for fire safety in the built environment has been the implementation of fire safety technologies through mandated codes and standards
  2. NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem™ elements – government responsibility, development and use of current codes, and an informed public – have had an obvious impact on the fire experience
  3. Approaching fire safety as a system, and not individual bits and pieces, provides an opportunity to unravel the complex and ongoing fire safety challenge for society
  4. Smoke alarms are a huge success story
  5. Cooking remains the leading cause of home fires and injuries
  6. Smoking has the been the leading cause of home fire deaths for roughly four decades
  7. Fire deaths of children under fire have dramatically declined, but there has been little change in older adult death tolls
  8. States with higher fire death rates correlate with larger percentages of people who have a disability; are current smokers; have incomes below the poverty line; live in rural areas; or are either African American, Black, Native American, or Alaskan Native
  9. Wildfire is becoming the dominant type of fire that causes catastrophic multiple deaths as well as large losses

The new study analyzed fire data and other research from the past 40 years to provide a snapshot of what has influenced safety. Additionally, catastrophic multiple-death fires and fires in the wildland/ urban interface (WUI) were looked at because they have the potential to cause significant human loss. (read more)