NFPA releases 1995 statistics
The number of U.S. fires and related injuries declined in 1995, according to the annual National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report. Public fire departments responded to 1,965,500 fires in 1995, a 4.3 percent decline from the previous year and a 39.8 percent decline since 1977 (the earliest year for which comparable figures are available). In many respects, the report notes, the fire problem continues to decline, but civilian fire deaths rose 7.3 percent from the previous year, to 4,585; and direct property damage from fire increased by 9.4 percent, to $8.918 billion. More than a third of this increase was due to the Oklahoma City Bombing, which also more than doubled the fire death toll in nonresidential structures and contributed to a one-third increase in fire deaths due to arson.
“In eight of the last nine years, at least one fire or explosion has caused enough property damage each year to rank among the 20 costliest incidents of all time in the U.S.,” points out Dr. John R. Hall, Jr., NFPA assistant vice president for Fire Analysis and Research. “These recent huge-loss incidents represent a disturbing trend that we have yet to come to grips with.”
Among other statistics for 1995 contained in the report are the following:
573,500 structure fires, a decline of 6.6 percent;
406,500 vehicle fires, a decrease of 3.7 percent;
985,000 outside fires, a drop of 3.2 percent;
25,775 (estimated) civilian injuries due to fire, a 5.4 percent decrease and the lowest total ever recorded by the NFPA;
an 8.0 percent increase in arson fires, to 90,500 (a small percentage of this total involved arson-related church fires); and
a 6.3 percent rise (to 3,640) over the previous year in fire deaths in homes.
For additional information, contact Julie Reynolds (617) 984-7274 or Susan McKel-vey (617) 984-7270 at the NFPA or Internet: email@example.com.