USFA Releases Confined Structure Fires Reports

Washington, D.C. – In 2002, there were approximately 52,000 confined structure fire incidents reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) according to two new reports issued today by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

Confined structure fires are small fire incidents that are limited in scope, are generally confined to noncombustible containers, rarely result in serious injury or large content losses, and are expected to have no accompanying property losses due to flame damage.

“This is the first time the U.S. Fire Administration has published a report on confined fires,” said Charlie Dickinson, Deputy United States Fire Administrator. “This report will aid the fire service and fire prevention communities in understanding the nature of such fires.”

The reports were developed by the National Fire Data Center, part of the U.S. Fire Administration, and are based on data from the 2002 NFIRS database. The Confined Structure Fires report examines the characteristics of small fires that occur in structures and that are contained or confined as recorded by fire department personnel using the NFIRS data collection report. The Investigation of Confined Structure Fires report is part of the USFA’s Topical Fire Research Series and summarizes the detailed analysis and findings of the full report.

Confined structure fires account for 37 percent of all reported structure fires and 38 percent of residential structure fires. More than half of all confined structure fires are confined cooking fires.

A copy of the full report, Confined Structure Fires can be downloaded from

A copy of the topical report, Investigation of Confined Structure Fires, can be downloaded from

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