The National Fire Protection Association has 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.
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.
The NFPA report includes only fire incidents for which the organization has official dollar-loss estimates. Other fires may have had large losses but no official information was reported to NFPA.