USFA Releases One- and Two-Family and Multifamily Residential Building Fires Topical Reports

Contact: USFA Press Office: (301) 447-1853

Emmitsburg,MD — The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) announces the release of two special reports focusing on the causes and characteristics of fires in one- and two-family and multifamily residential buildings. The reports, One-
and Two-Family Residential Building Fires
and Multifamily Residential Building Fires, were developed by USFA’s National  Fire Data  Center. One- and two-family residential buildings include detached dwellings, manufactured homes, mobile homes not in transit, and duplexes. Multifamily residential buildings consist of structures such as apartments, townhouses, rowhouses, condominiums, and other tenement properties.

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One- and Two-Family
Residential Building Fires
(PDF, 779 Kb)


Multifamily Residential
Building Fires
(PDF, 775 Kb)

An estimated 248,500 fires in one- and two-family residential buildings occur each year in the United States. Annually, these fires are responsible for 2,135 civilian fire deaths, 8,550 civilian fire injuries, and 5.9 billion dollars in property loss. Additionally, there are an estimated 103,000 fires that occur in multifamily buildings each year resulting in 390 deaths, 4,050 injuries, and 1.2 billion dollars in property loss.

The reports are part of the Topical Fire Report Series and are based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for 2007 to 2009. According to the reports:


Cooking is the leading cause of both one- and two-family and multifamily
residential buildings fires, followed by heating.


Fire incidence in both types of residential properties peaks during winter
months partially because of increases in heating and holiday-related fires.


Fires peak over the evening dinner hours in one- and two-family and
multifamily residences when cooking fires are prevalent.

Topical reports explore facets of the U.S. fire problem as depicted through data collected in NFIRS. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. Also included are recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report or that put the report topic in context.

For further information regarding other topical reports or any programs and training available at the United States Fire Administration, visit

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