USFA Releases One- and Two-Family and Multifamily Residential Fires Topical Reports

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announces the release of two special reports focusing on the causes and characteristics of fires in one- and two-family and multifamily residential buildings. The reports, One- and Two-Family Residential Building Fires (PDF, 813 Kb) and Multifamily Residential Building Fires (PDF, 861 Kb), were developed by the USFA’s National Fire Data Center. One- and two-family residential buildings include detached dwellings, manufactured homes, mobile homes not in transit, and duplexes. Multifamily residential build­ings consist of structures such as apartments, townhouses, rowhouses, condominiums, and other tenement proper­ties.

An estimated 253,500 fires in one- and two-family residential buildings occur each year in the United States. Annually, these fires are responsible for 2,150 civilian fire deaths, 8,775 civilian fire injuries, and 5.3 billion dollars in property loss. Additionally, there are an estimated 108,400 fires that occur in multifamily buildings each year resulting in 450 deaths, 3,800 injuries, and 1.1 billion dollars in property loss.

The reports are part of the Topical Fire Report Series and are based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for 2005 to 2007. According to the reports, cooking is, by far, the leading cause of both one- and two-family and multifamily residential building fires, followed by heating. Fire incidence in both types of residential properties peaks during winter months partially as a result of increases in heating and holiday-related fires. In addition, fires peak over the evening dinner hours in one- and two-family and multifamily residences when cooking fires are prevalent.

The topical reports are designed to explore facets of the U.S. fire problem as depicted through data collected in NFIRS. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. Also included are recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report or that put the report topic in context.

The complete reports are available at www.usfa.dhs.gov/statistics/reports/. For further information regarding other topical reports or any programs and training available at USFA, visit www.usfa.dhs.gov.

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