"Each year, the National Fire Data Center of the U.S. Fire Administration publishes a 10-year statistical overview of the fires in the United States, with focus on the latest year in which data were available at the time of preparation. This report is designed to arm the fire service and others with information that motivates corrective action, sets priorities, targets specific fire programs, serves as a model for state or local analyses of fire data, and provides a baseline for evaluating programs. This Eleventh Edition of Fire in the Unites States covers the 10-year period from 1987 to 1996, with emphasis on 1996. The primary source of data is from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), but National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) annual survey results, mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics, and data from the state fire marshals are also used. Because of the time it takes to collect data from nearly 13,000 fire departments that participate in NFIRS, edit and obtain corrections, and analyze and display the results, the publication lags the date of data collection. Each edition of this report describes the overall national fire problem and casualties to firefighters. Biannually, the reports address either a state-by-state examination of fire or, alternatively, the problem of fire in residential and non-residential structures--the subject of this Eleventh Edition. And each year, an assessment of several specific special topics is performed; this year, these topics include multiple-fatality fires, urban area fires, and the relationship of alcohol consumption to fire deaths."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/