The total cost of structural fires in the United States in 2014 was $328.5 billion, according to a new report written by University at Buffalo engineers and issued by the National Fire Protection Association.
Of that total, $273.1 billion, or 83%, of the cost was attributed to outfitting new buildings with fire prevention systems, operating fire departments, fire insurance, and other expenditures. The cost associated with losses—such as deaths, injuries, and destruction of property—was $55.4 billion.
The report examined only structural fires involving residential, commercial and industrial buildings. It did not factor in wildfires, vehicle fires, and other outdoor fires.
Other findings include:
— The total cost of structural fires in the U.S. has increased by 50% from 1980 to 2014, from $218.5 billion to $328.5 billion (both in 2014 dollars).
— The total cost of structural fire in the U.S. as a percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product has dropped from 7.6% in 1980 to 1.9% in 2014, a 75% decrease.