QuickStats

The Overall Fire Picture - 2008

  • There were 3,320 civilians that lost their lives as the result of fire.
  • There were 16,705 civilian injuries that occurred as the result of fire.
  • There were 118 firefighters killed while on duty.
  • Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
  • 84 percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences.
  • There were an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008.
  • Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $15.5 billion. This figure includes the 2008 California Wildfires with an estimated loss of $1.4 billion.
  • An estimated 32,500 intentionally set structure fires resulted in 315 civilian deaths.
  • Intentionally set structure fires resulted in an estimated $866 million in property damage.

Source: National Fire Protection Association Fire Loss in the U.S. 2008 and USFA's Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2008.

Fire Departments

  • Estimated number of fire departments in 2008: 30,170
  • Estimated number of stations in the United States for 2006-2008: 52,400
  • A fire department responds to a fire in the United States every 22.0 seconds
  • Fire department types*: Career (8%), Mostly Career (6%), Mostly Volunteer (16%), All Volunteer (70%)
  • 14% of all departments are career or mostly career and protect 61% of the U.S. population
  • 86% of fire departments are volunteer or mostly volunteer and protect 39% of the population
  • There are an estimated 68,200 pumpers, 6,725 aerial apparatus, and 75,300 other suppression vehicles (including tankers, brush vehicles, pumpers less than 1,000 gpm, hose usage, etc.) in the United States for 2006-2008

The following table shows the estimated numbers of fire departments and the numbers of departments by department type in the United States from 1999 to 2008.

Number of Fire Departments
Year
All Fire Departments
All Career
Mostly Career
Mostly Volunteer
All Volunteer
1999
30,436
1,752
1,639
4,651
22,394
2000
26,354
1,878
1,407
3,845
19,224
2001
30,020
1,928
1,539
4,671
21,882
2002
30,310
2,044
1,480
4,886
21,900
2003
30,542
2,018
1,582
5,271
21,671
2004
30,400
1,917
1,242
4,084
23,157
2005
30,330
2,087
1,766
4,902
21,575
2006
30,635
2,321
1,731
5,134
21,449
2007
30,185
2,263
1,765
4,989
21,168
2008
30,170
2,315
1,790
4,830
21,235

 

2008 Response Breakdown
Response
Number
% Change from 2007
Fires
1,451,500
-6.8
Medical Aid
15,767,500
-0.1
False Alarms
2,241,500
+1.5
Mutual Aid/Assistance
1,214,500
+9.5
Hazmat
394,500
-0.3
Other Hazardous (Arcing wires, bomb removal, etc.)
697,500
+1.6
All Other (Smoke scares, lock-outs, etc.)
3,485,500
-3.0
TOTAL
25,252,500
-0.3

Source: National Fire Protection Association reports Fire Loss in the United States 2008 and U.S. Fire Department Profile Through 2008