USFA Issues New Report on Civilian Fire Injuries in Residential Buildings

The U.S. Fire Administration has released a new report in its topical fire report series, this one dealing with the characteristics of civilian injuries from residential building fires for the period 2009-2011. Thirty-four percent of injuries resulted from trying to control a fire followed by attempting to escape (25 percent).

Annually from 2009 to 2011, an estimated 13,250 civilian fire injuries resulted from 360,900 residential building fires. Of the total residential building fires, 8,100 of them resulted in injuries. Someone was injured in a residential building fire every 40 minutes.

Additional findings were:

  • Seventy-six percent of all civilian fire injuries occurred as a result of fires in residential buildings.
  • Residential building fires resulting in injuries occurred most frequently in the late afternoon and early evening hours.
  • January had the highest incidence of residential building fires resulting in injuries (11 percent).
  • “Cooking” (30 percent) was the primary cause for residential building fires that resulted in injuries.
  • Thirty-four percent of civilian fire injuries in residential buildings resulted from trying to control a fire followed by attempting to escape (25 percent).
  • Seventy-nine percent of injuries resulting from residential building fires involved smoke inhalation and thermal burns.
  • The leading human factor contributing to injuries in residential building fires was being “asleep” (56 percent).
  • Bedrooms (35 percent) were the leading specific location where civilian injuries occurred in residential building fires.

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