U.S. public fire departments responded to the fewest number of fires since 1977-78 in 2013, according to a recent survey from the National Fire Protection Association. The 1,240,000 reported incidents represent a decrease of 9.8% from 2012.
While the overall numbers are encouraging, there is still work to be done, with structure fires comprising almost 40% of all reported incidents and increasing by 1.5% over the previous year. The survey also shows that civilian deaths as a result of fires have increased almost 16% over 2012, with the amount of deaths in non-residential structures up by 7.7% while only accounting for a small percentage of the overall amount. The study's authors are quick to point out, however that home fire deaths – which account for almost all of the civilian deaths – have dropped 53% since 1977-78.
Fire Loss in the United States During 2013 also shows the amount and incidence of fire-related property loss in decline, with around $11.5 billion in 2013 losses, down 7% from 2012. The 487,500 reported structure fires caused $9.5 billion in property damage, with damage to public assembly properties up significantly from last year at $369 million worth of damage. Intentionally set fires in 2013 were down, dropping 13.5% from 2012.
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