When fires are extinguished in the early stages:
- Loss of life is minimal. 93 percent of all fire-related deaths occur once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages.
- Direct property damage is minimal. 95 percent of all direct property damage occur once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages.
Source: 1991-1995 NFIRS study
- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires that every building or structure be designed, constructed, and maintained to protect occupants who are not intimate with the initial fire development for the time needed to evacuate, relocate, or defend in place.
- According to the NFPA, a successful balanced fire protection plan should be designed so that reliance for safety to life does not depend solely on any single safeguard. Additional safeguards shall be provided for life safety in case any single safeguard is ineffective due to inappropriate human actions or system failure.
- Similar to NFPA, the International Building Code and International Fire code provide a system of protection schemes so as not to rely on a single safeguard to protect building occupants.
Other fire facts:
- The United States has the highest number of people killed by fires each year.
Source: Geneva Association, World Fire Statistics No. 28
- In 2015, public fire departments attended 1,345,500 fires in the United States, of which 501,500 occurred in structures, 204,500 occurred in vehicles, and 639,500 occurred in outside properties.
- Every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States.
- In 2015, there were 3,280 civilian (non-firefighters) fire deaths.
- 2560 deaths from fires in the home, a decrease of 6.7% from 2014.
- Nationwide, there was a civilian fire death every 160 minutes.
Source: NFPA, Fire Loss in the United States During 2015, Hylton J. G. Haynes.