The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) recently issued a special report examining the characteristics of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings. The publication, Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings (2008-2010), reports the following:
- Ninety-two percent of all civilian fatalities in residential building fires involve thermal burns and smoke inhalation.
- The leading specific location where civilian fire fatalities occur in residential buildings is the bedroom (55 percent).
- Fifty percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This period also accounts for 47 percent of fatal fires.
- Thirty-six percent of fire victims in residential buildings were trying to escape at the time of their deaths; an additional 35 percent were sleeping.
- "Other unintentionally set, careless" actions and "smoking" (each accounting for 16 percent) are the leading causes of fatal residential building fires.
- Approximately 44 percent of civilian fatalities in residential building fires are between the ages of 40 and 69. Thirteen percent of the fire fatalities in residential buildings were less than 10 years old.
Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings (2008-2010) is part of the Topical Fire Report Series.
For more information, go to www.usfa.fema.gov