The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released the latest edition of its “Large-loss Fires in the United States” report with data on large-loss fires and explosions that occurred in the United States the year before. As reported in the current issue of NFPA Journal, those fires are defined as events that result in property damage of at least $10 million.
There were 25 large-loss fires in 2016, resulting in a total of over $1.4 billion in direct property losses. The 25 large-loss fires include six fires — four fewer than the previous year — that resulted in more than $20 million each in direct property damage. These six fires resulted in a combined property loss of $1.2 billion, or 83.2 percent of the total large-loss tally. The loss associated with these six fires represents 11.4 percent of the annual fire loss in the U.S. for 2016.
The major property-types that had incidents were: Storage (24 percent); Special Properties (24 percent); Manufacturing (16 percent); and Stores and Offices (12 percent)
Although the 25 large-loss fires accounted for only 0.002 percent of the estimated 1,342,000 structure and non-structure fires reported in 2016, they accounted for 13.2 percent of the total estimated annual dollar loss.
The 25 large-loss fires accounted for 14 civilian deaths, with another 183 civilians and eight firefighters injured.
This report includes only fire incidents for which NFPA has official dollar-loss estimates.