The Cost of Fire and Why Life Was Lost


  • Calvin H. Yuill


Fire prevention, fire losses, fire safety, National Fire Protection Association, costs


Life and property losses from accidental fires in the United States are examined with particular emphasis on life safety. An effort is made to validate data by comparing results from different investigators and to reappraise suggested means of reducing losses. The greatest monetary loss per fire occurs with industrial buildings, so greatest emphasis on protection has been for these structures. However, the far greater number of residential fires, even with lower unit costs per fire, results in total fire costs for residences being greater. In addition, most fatalities are from residential fires. It is concluded that there is need for improved fire investigation and fact analysis; reliable fire detectors and alarms; education for designers and the public; and research to define areas and circumstances in which combustibles may be safely used.


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