Great strides have been made in constructing fire resistant buildings, reducing the incidence of fires and improving fire suppression techniques. However, in terms of property losses, these advances have been somewhat offset by increases in the number and value of buildings. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2012, on average, a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds in the United States. A structure fire occurs every 66 seconds; a residential fire occurs every 85 seconds and an outside property fire occurs every 46 seconds.
There are about a half million fires in structures each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In 2011, 80 percent of structure fires were in residential properties and 20 percent were in non-residential structures, including storage facilities, stores and offices, and industrial properties, and public assembly. Public assembly fires include fires in eating and drinking places and other entertainment venues, houses of worship and other places where people congregate.
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