When it comes to public safety, fire departments play a critical role in our communities. They respond to emergency situations ranging from fires to medical emergencies and provide education to the public on how to prevent fires and stay safe.

In this blog post, we’ll cover fire department statistics that provide insight into the vital work that fire departments do.

Key Fire Department Statistics 2023 – MY Choice

  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that there were 1,291,500 fires in the United States in 2019.
  • Out of the total fires, 499,000 were structure fires that caused property damage worth $14.8 billion.
  • The number of civilian deaths due to fires was 3,704, and there were 16,600 civilian injuries reported.
  • According to the U.S. Fire Administration, firefighters responded to 1.3 million incidents in 2019.
  • There were 344 firefighter fatalities in the United States from 2010 to 2019.
  • The majority of firefighter fatalities occur from sudden cardiac events while on the job.
  • The average response time for a fire department in the United States is approximately 6 minutes.
  • The International Association of Fire Fighters reported that there are approximately 1.1 million firefighters in the United States.
  • In 2019, fire departments responded to an estimated 7,000 natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes, and floods.
  • The NFPA reported that cooking fires were the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries in 2019, followed by heating equipment and electrical malfunctions.

Fire Department Stats

Estimated number of fire departments29,705
Breakdown of fire department typesAll career: 10%, Mostly career: 8%, Mostly volunteer: 18%, All volunteer: 64%
Estimated number of firefighters1,115,000
Number of female firefighters in 201988,800 (8%)
Age range of 50% of firefighters30-49 years old
Career vs. volunteer firefighters in 2019Career: 358,000 (33%), Volunteer: 722,800 (67%)
Property types for fire deaths, injuries, and dollar lossResidential: 72.2% (deaths), 76.4% (injuries), 46.4% (dollar loss)
Average response time to a fire in the US (2020)23 seconds
Number of structure fires in the US (2020)490,500 (up 1.9% from 2019)
Property damage caused by structure fires (2020)$12.1 billion (down 1.6% from 2019)
Average loss for structure fires (2020)$24,669 (down 3.4% from 2019)
Number of structure fires in eating and drinking establishments annuallyApproximately 7,410
Fireworks-related fires and injuries (2018)Fires: 19,500 (1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires) Injuries: 46 civilian injuries and $105 million in direct property damage
Emergency room treatments for fireworks-related injuries (2018)9,100
Percentage of fireworks-related injuries to extremities50%
Percentage of fireworks-related injuries to the head or eye34%
Percentage of fireworks-related injuries for children under 15More than one third
Christmas-related fires and injuries (2011-2015)Number of home structure fires caused by Christmas trees: 200/year. Causes of fires: Electrical distribution/lighting equipment (2/5), heat source too close (1/4), decorative lights (18%)
December candle fires (2011-2015)Percentage of December candle fires: 11%. One civilian death, 41 civilian injuries, and $13.4 million in direct property damage per year
Medical emergencies vs. other emergency responsesMedical assistance: 70-80%
Burns reporting requirementsHealth care providers must report burns that cover 5% or more of a person’s body surface

Fire Prevention Statistics

  • 80% of all fire-related deaths in the U.S. occur in residential buildings.
  • Smoke detectors can reduce the risk of dying in a house fire by 50%.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
  • Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires.
  • Most home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when people are asleep.
  • In 2019, fire departments responded to over 1.3 million fires in the U.S.

Fire Department Staffing Statistics

  • There are over 1.1 million firefighters in the U.S.
  • Approximately 69% of firefighters in the U.S. are volunteers.
  • The median age of firefighters in the U.S. is 39 years old.
  • The average salary for firefighters in the U.S. is $54,650 per year.
  • The National Fire Protection Association recommends at least four firefighters be present at the scene of a fire.

Fire Department Response Time Statistics

  • The average response time for fire departments in the U.S. is 8 minutes and 10 seconds.
  • In rural areas, the average response time is longer than in urban areas.
  • Fire departments respond to over 32 million false alarms each year.
  • The most common reasons for false alarms are cooking and steam.

Fire Department Equipment Statistics

  • In 2018, fire departments in the U.S. spent over $2.5 billion on firefighting equipment.
  • The average cost of a fire engine is $400,000.
  • Firefighters wear an average of 50 pounds of gear and equipment when responding to a fire.
  • The Jaws of Life, a tool used to extract people from vehicles, was invented in 1961 by George Hurst.

Wildfire Statistics

  • In 2020, there were over 58,000 wildfires in the U.S.
  • The majority of wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans.
  • Climate change is contributing to an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires.
  • The Camp Fire, which occurred in California in 2018, was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history.


Fire departments play a vital role in keeping our communities safe. From educating the public on fire prevention to responding to emergency situations, they are always ready to help. We hope these 100 fire department statistics have provided insight into the critical work they do every day.

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