"Older Americans are burdened with the gravest fire risk in the United States, and are consistently more threatened with injury or death by fire than any other segment of society. While admirable strides have been made in lowering the overall U.S. fire death rate in the last decade, fewer gains have been realized among the oldest age groups. This Topical Fire Report explores the risk of fire death in the older adult population and is an update to The Fire Risk to Older Adults, Volume 4, Issue 9. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data, nearly 4,000 deaths were caused by fire in 2004. Older adults were disproportionately the victims-fire fatalities among persons aged 65 years or older in 2004 were 1,265, accounting for nearly 32% of all fire casualties that year. Older adults comprise 12% of the U.S. population,and their ranks are growing. It is estimated that the older population will rise sharply between 2010 and 2030, the years when the baby boom generation will be in retirement. By 2030, the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging estimates adults aged 65 and over will comprise 20% of the U.S. population. Better health care and new developments in medicine continue to increase American life expectancy. By their 65th birthday, on average, Americans can expect to live another 19 years. At close to one-third of total fire deaths, the number of older Americans who die in fires across the Nation clearly is high. The issue becomes even more concerning when the relative risk of fire death encountered by older Americans is compared to the rest of the adult population."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (February 2008), v.7 no.7