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Fire Fatalities and Mortality Rate In Tennessee

As of October 25th, 2018, 86 accidental or undetermined civilian structure fire fatalities have been reported.  Of the fatalities so far, 84 resulted from fires on residential property, 1 resulted from a fire on a commercial property, and 1 resulted from a fire on industrial property.  The last confirmed fatal fire was in Jackson County where one resident died in a house fire on October 19th.    

Year-to-date: How do this year's unintentional fire fatalities compare to previous years? 

    2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
YTD Fire Fatalities (thru October 25th)   64 76 53 61 75 68 86
Total Fire Fatalities    83 100 76 72 113 85  

Location of Tennessee's unintentional fire fatalities from 2012-2017:

Annual Reports for Structure Fire Fatalities in Tennessee: Each report provides detailed information on the causal trends and contributing factors to Tennessee's unintentional structure fire fatalities. 

Fire Mortality in Tennessee

What is Fire Mortality? 
Experts measure progress over time by utilizing mortality rates of fire deaths. This method also takes into account population changes over time to measure the number of fire deaths proportional to a population. The Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office focuses on unintentional, residential fire deaths when it comes to measuring the fire mortality rate. 

Tennessee now 11th in the Nation

Tennessee historically has had a high fire mortality rate along with many other southern states. In fact, 9 of the top 10 highest fire mortality states are located in the U.S. Census Southern Regions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported Tennessee’s 2006-2010 fire mortality rate to be 19.3 deaths per million, which means for every 1 million people in Tennessee, 19.3 deaths occur annually. The 19.3 deaths per million rate gave Tennessee the nation’s 8th highest fire mortality rate in 2010.

In 2017, NFPA released an updated report on the nation's fire mortality rates. Tennessee's fire mortality rate dropped from 19.3 deaths per million (2006-2010) to 14.6 deaths per million (2011-2015), a 24% reduction.  This is the single largest reduction in fire mortality rate in Tennessee’s recorded history. In addition, Tennessee's ranking among the nation's fire mortality rates dropped from 8th to 11th. 

Our Response: Focused Fire Prevention
We are aggressively battling the Tennessee fire mortality rate by bringing the best minds together from the fire service, industry, and strategic partnership organizations to assist us in the targeting, education, and installation of life saving devices for vulnerable populations in Tennessee.

  • Fire Mortality Study: Identifies and forecasts unintentional fire deaths using census Tennessee tracts. 
    2002-2010 Original Fire Mortality Study [pdf]
    2010-2013 Updated Fire Mortality Study pdf]
  • Fire Loss Symposium: Annually, leaders from the fire service come together to discuss Tennessee's fire loss problem. The goal of this symposium is to discuss recent trends and collaborate on possible solutions. 
    2014 Fire Mortality Rate Prezi Presentation
  • Get Alarmed, TN!: Provides smoke alarms to fire departments that protect high risk populations.  More information
  • Our Success so Far:
    • From 2011-2015, reported structure fires have decreased by 20.6%.
    • Tennessee has observed the largest reduction in the fire mortality rate in our state’s recorded history, according to both state and national measurements1.
    • The "Get Alarmed, TN" smoke alarm program has documented 192 lives saved. Click here for more info

1 1980 was the first date available to effectively measure fire mortality (fire deaths and population)

This Page Last Updated: October 26, 2018 at 1:44 PM