Fire Safety

Fire is still a very real and present danger. In 2020, fire departments in the U.S. responded to a fire every 23 seconds. That same year, firefighters responded to an estimated 1.4 million fires that resulted in 3,500 civilian fire fatalities and an estimated $29.1 billion in property damage.1Source: Fire loss in the United States during 2020. Learn More.

2020 Overview of the U.S. Fire Experience*

1,400,000Fires Responded to by Fire Departments

23 secondsFrequency Firefighters Respond to Fires

  • Structure Fires

  • Structure Fires That Were Home Fires

  • Civilian Fire Deaths

  • Civilian Fire Deaths in Home

  • Property Damage From Fires

    $21.9 Billion
*Estimated totals for 2020 per the NFPA report dated September 2021.

Flame Retardants Protect Our Most Vulnerable Populations

Flame retardants add an integral layer of protection for children, seniors, and their families by reducing the risk of fires or slowing their spread.


Fire statistics show that children are more susceptible to injury or death from fire than the average person.2Source: EFSI. Holiday Data and Statistics (2015). Learn More.   

Fires and burns have been found to be the third leading cause of unintentional death among children 14 and under.3Source: EFSI. Holiday Data and Statistics (2015). Learn More.

Senior Citizens

Fire safety is also a critical issue for senior citizens. Older adults continue to experience a disproportionate share of fire deaths.4Source: EFSI. Holiday Data and Statistics (2015). Learn More.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2030, more than 20 percent of U.S. residents are projected to be aged 65 and over, compared with 13 percent in 2010 and 9.8 percent in 1970.5Source: Ortman, J.M., Velkoff, V.A., and Hogan. H. 2014. An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States. U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau. Issued May 2014 (accessed Jan. 8, 2016). Learn More.

In an analysis of data collected under the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFRIRS), USFA concluded the following:6U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Data Center. Fire Risk to Older Adults in 2010. Topical Fire Report Series Vol. 14, no. 9. August 2013 (accessed Jan. 8, 2016). Learn More.

Low-Income Populations

Low-income populations are prone to fire injury or death due to substandard housing that may lack fire-safety measures such as working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.7Source: Income, Housing, and Fire Injuries: A Census Tract Analysis, Donna Shai, Public Health Rep. 2006 Mar-Apr; 121(2): 149–154. Learn More.,8Source: Home Safety and Low-Income Urban Housing Quality, Andrea C. Gielen, Wendy Shields, Eileen McDonald, Shannon Frattaroli, David Bishai, Xia Ma, Pediatrics. 2012 Dec; 130(6): 1053–1059. Learn More.

Comprehensive fire safety measures, including those that ensure fires do not start in these homes, help keep people safe.

Low-income groups are one of the groups at higher risk from dying in a fire than the rest of the population. Socioeconomic studies show an inverse relationship between fire risk and income.9Source: Fire Risk in 2010. Volume 14, Issue 7. U.S. Fire Administration, August 2013. Web. 27 February 2015. Learn More.

Children in low-income populations are exposed to the greatest risk.  

Substandard housing, crowded conditions, and the increased likelihood of children left alone, compared to affluent households, contribute to this risk.10Source: Fire Risk to Children in 2010. Volume 14, Issue 8. U.S. Fire Administration, August 2013. Web. 27 February 2015. Learn More.

Flame retardants add an integral layer of protection for all populations by reducing the risk of fires or slowing their spread.

Product Recalls

Fires are a safety issue the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) considers when evaluating product safety.11Source: The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Learn More.

The CPSC issued over 70 recalls for fire hazards covering nearly 10 million units of consumer products in 2018. 

The changing nature of consumer products with the use of more flammable materials has increased the risk of fire safety, particularly with the proliferation of electronics and electrical equipment

Fire safety standards have been developed to ensure public safety.

Flame retardants are an important tool to help reduce fire risk.