"The original goal for USFA [United States Fire Administration] was to help lead a reduction in fire deaths by 50 percent in a generation. With annual fire deaths dropping from over 9,000 to less than 3,500 in that period of time, USFA's goal has been achieved. Nevertheless, fire deaths are still high. Approximately 1,800 fatal residential building fires occurred annually in recent years (2006 to 2008).These fires resulted in an annual average of approximately 2,635 deaths, 725 injuries, and $196 million in property loss. This report is one of a continuing series of topical reports issued by the USFA's National Fire Data Center and addresses the characteristics of fatal residential building fires reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) from 2006 to 2008, the most recent data available at the time of the analysis. Because 79 percent of fire deaths occur in residential buildings, they are the focus of this report. The information in this report about fatal residential fires can be used not only to assess progress but also to understand the nature of the fatal fire problem and its implications for targeting of prevention programs. For the purpose of this report, the terms 'residential fires' and 'fatal residential fires' are synonymous with 'residential building fires' and 'fatal residential building fires,' respectively. 'Fatal residential fires' is used throughout the body of this report; the findings, tables, charts, headings, and footnotes reflect the full category, 'fatal residential building fires.'"
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (August 2010), v.11 no.2