NFPA: Total cost of fire up 34 percent from 1980

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

QUINCY, Mass.—The National Fire Protection Association in April released an updated report on the total cost of fire in the United States, which showed that the total cost of fire in 2011 was estimated at $329 billion, or roughly 2.1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Adjusted for inflation, the total cost represents a 34 percent increase over 1980, while its proportion of
GDP has declined by about one-third.

The core total cost of fire is defined as the sum of economic loss (e.g. property damage, business interruption) and the cost of provisions to prevent or mitigate the cost of fire (e.g. fire departments, insurance, and the fire protection part of construction).

The complete total cost of fires adds costs that cannot be measured every year or do not involve direct payments. This includes costs of compliance with fire safety standards for equipment and other products, the value of the time donated by volunteer firefighters, human loss (e.g. lives lost, medical treatment, pain and suffering), and federal government costs for fighting wildfires.

Click here for more facts from NFPA on the total cost of fire.