Thursday, March 11, 2021

Federal Publication of the Month: A Profile of Fire in the United States

In 2007, over one million fire calls occurred, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries, with property loss running into the billions. A fire call occurs every 24 seconds. In comparison to other countries, the fire problem in the U.S. is alarming. The map shown below lists states and fire death rate. Compared to the national average, South Dakota is listed as 14 - 24.9 deaths per one million. Unless the 2020 census bumps South Dakota into the one million population, deaths are very real.

Fire Death Rate by State, page 2
A Profile of Fire in the United States
HS 5.219:2003-2007 OCLC#48928893

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), two main causes of fire in residential homes are cooking and accidental. With non-residential, cooking and intentional fires are the main causes. Fortunately, the rate of injury and death have declined due to stronger fire codes, better building materials, public education, installation of sprinklers and smoke alarms.

The fatality statistics of fire fighters responding to and returning from fires from 2003-2007 ranged from 15 to 36 deaths. With 47 being the approximate median age, causes range from heart attacks, crashes while responding, training and activities at a fire. These statistics and more can be found through US Fire Administration and the NFPA.

The SD State Library is a federal depository library and provides access to print and electronic federal government publications. Print publications are available via interlibrary loan. Electronic publications are linking from the state library online catalog.

--Edited March 12, 2021. Corrected punctuation in first paragraph.