NFPA Journal - September/October 2013 - (Page 72)

>> FIREANALYSIS+ RESEARCH NFPA RESEARCH REPORTS IN BRIEF Structure Fires in U.S. Warehouses RiChaRd CaMPBEll Warehouses vary on the basis of size, types of materials stored, design, storage configurations, construction, and other factors. Warehouse fires are associated with higher average property losses per fire than most other occupancies, but they also have lower than average rates of injury per 1,000 fires. During the five-year period from 2007 to 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 1,270 fires in warehouse properties per year. These fires caused an annual average of $188 million in direct property damage, 23 civilian injuries, and 4 civilian fatalities. Fires in warehouses have declined substantially over the past 30 years, from 4,700 in 1980 to 1,200 in 2011. However, the value of direct property damage caused by warehouse fires has not shown a similar decrease when adjusted for inflation, with property damage totals fluctuating from one year to the next. Data from 2007 to 2011 indicate an average of more than 100 warehouse fires and nearly $16 million in direct property damages from these fires a month. Warehouse fires were most likely to take place on a weekday during normal business hours. Nearly one-fifth of warehouse fires were intentionally set, while 13 percent were caused by electrical distribution and lighting equipment. Some type of operating equipment was the heat source in approximately two of every five fires. Warehouses pose substantial challenges for fire protection due to their layouts, storage configurations and technologies, ceiling heights, and types of commodities stored, with the specific challenges influenced by the characteristics of a given warehouse. Properly designed sprinkler systems are an essential element of general warehouse fire protection. Other protective measures generally applicable to warehouse properties include automatic alarms to the fire department and building security systems. Pre-fire inspections and planning are recommended to identify appropriate protection measures for specific warehouse environments. U.S. Structure Fires in Office Properties RiChaRd CaMPBEll NOVEMBER 14-16, 2013 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Make your home and your community safer from wildfire! Attend the 2013 Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference 72 NFPA JOURNAL SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 During the five-year period from 2007 to 2011, NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. These fires caused an annual average of 4 civilian deaths, 44 civilian fire injuries, and $112 million in direct property damage. The vast majority of the fires occurred in business offices, although reported fires in this occupancy group fell 71 percent from 10,570 in 1980 to 3,050 in 2011. Only 19 percent of office fires occurred on weekends, when offices are less likely to be fully populated, but these fires caused 31 percent of the associated property loss. The peak time of day for office fires was between noon and 2 p.m. Less than one-third of the fires occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., but those that did accounted for 67 percent of the direct property damage. These findings highlight the need for automatic detection and extinguishing equipment to protect these properties when they are not occupied. More than one in every four office property fires were caused by cooking

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - September/October 2013

NFPA Journal - September/October 2013
First Word
In a Flash
Heads Up
Structural Ops
In Compliance
Electrical Safety
Wildfire Watch
Cover Story: Furniture Flamability
Special Report
NFPA Reports
NFPA Reports
Fire Analysis + Research
Section Spotlight
What’s Hot
Looking Back

NFPA Journal - September/October 2013