Unintentional Fire Death Rates by State 2003-2007

This map is based on Unintentional Fire Death Rates by State, October 2011. The map shows the unintentional fire death rate for each state and each state’s rank relative to other states, ranked from highest to lowest. Also included are numbers and ranks for several risk factors correlated with higher fire death rates, including smoking, poverty, lacking 12 years of school, and living in a rural area. http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=2397&itemID=55349&URL=Research/Statistical%20reports/Regional/community%20patterns/

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Alabama
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 22.3
Rank (Death Rate): 4
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 19.1%
Rank (Education): 6
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 27.1%
Rank (Smoking): 13 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 17.0%
Rank (Poverty): 7
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 44.6%
Rank (Rural): 8
Description: Alabama had the fourth highest average fire death rate (22.3 deaths per million population) in 2003-2007. Alabama ranked among the ten highest states on the education, poverty, and rural factors. Alabama’s deadliest fire since 1899 occurred in April 1911, when a coal mine explosion killed 128 people.
Alaska
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 15.6
Rank (Death Rate): 11
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 8.3%
Rank (Education): 46
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.6%
Rank (Smoking): 34
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.2%
Rank (Poverty): 33 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 34.3%
Rank (Rural): 18
Description: Alaska’s average fire death rate (15.6) was 11th highest in 2003-2007. Alaska is among the ten least populous states, which means its fire death rate is subject to considerable variability even with 5-year averages, but its rate has been fairly consistently high. Alaska ranked among the lowest (best) ten states on the education factor. Alaska’s deadliest fire since 1899 was a post-crash fire on a chartered jet airliner in November 1970; fire deaths alone totaled 47.
Arizona
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 7
Rank (Death Rate): 42
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 14.3%
Rank (Education): 17 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 22.7%
Rank (Smoking): 44
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 14.2%
Rank (Poverty): 15
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 11.8%
Rank (Rural): 42
Description: Arizona’s average fire death rate (7.0) per million population was ninth lowest in 2003-2007. Arizona ranked among the lowest (best) ten states on the smoker and rural factors. Arizona’s deadliest fire since 1899 was a hotel fire in December 1970, which killed 28 people.
Arkansas
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 21.7
Rank (Death Rate): 5
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 18.6%
Rank (Education): 8
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 28.0%
Rank (Smoking): 9 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 17.2%
Rank (Poverty): 6
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 47.6%
Rank (Rural): 6
Description: Arkansas had the fifth highest average fire death rate (21.7) in 2003-2007. Arkansas ranked among the ten highest states on the education, smoker, rural and poverty factors. The deadliest Arkansas fire since 1899 occurred at an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) silo in August 1965, and killed 53 people.
California
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 6
Rank (Death Rate): 47 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 19.7%
Rank (Education): 5
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 18.3%
Rank (Smoking): 50
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 13.3%
Rank (Poverty): 20 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 5.5%
Rank (Rural): 50
Description: California tied for the third lowest average fire death rate (6.0) in 2003-2007. California ranked among the ten highest states on the education factor, a dramatic change from two decades ago. This change in characteristics has not manifested in any increase in fire death rate. California ranked among the lowest (best) ten states on the smoker and rural factors. The deadliest California fire since 1899 involved the collision of two munitions ships in July 1944. The explosion and ensuing fire, which spread to a depot, killed 322 people.
Colorado
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 4.8
Rank (Death Rate): 49
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 10.8%
Rank (Education): 36
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 22.6%
Rank (Smoking): 45 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.1%
Rank (Poverty): 35 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 15.5%
Rank (Rural): 37
Description: Colorado had the second lowest average fire death rate (4.8) in 2003-2007. Colorado ranked among the ten lowest (best) states on the smoker factor. The deadliest Colorado fire since 1899 occurred in April 1917, when a coal mine explosion killed 121 people.
Connecticut
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 7.5
Rank (Death Rate): 38 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 10.0%
Rank (Education): 39 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 23.1%
Rank (Smoking): 41 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 8.3%
Rank (Poverty): 48
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 12.3%
Rank (Rural): 40
Description: Connecticut tied for the 12th lowest average fire death rate (7.5) in 2003-2007. Connecticut ranked among the ten lowest (best) states on the poverty and smoker factors. The deadliest Connecticut fire since 1899 occurred in July 1944, when a circus tent fire killed 168 people.
Delaware
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.3
Rank (Death Rate): 32 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 13.2%
Rank (Education): 22 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 25.7%
Rank (Smoking): 24 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 10.4%
Rank (Poverty): 39
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 20.0%
Rank (Rural): 34
Description: Delaware’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (9.3) tied for 18th lowest among the 50 states. Delaware is one of the ten least populous states, which is why its fire death rate has varied widely over the years and can vary considerably even with 5-year averages. Delaware’s deadliest fire since 1899 was a dwelling fire that killed 11 people in January 2001.
Florida
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 7.5
Rank (Death Rate): 38 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 13.2%
Rank (Education): 22 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.3%
Rank (Smoking): 37
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 12.8%
Rank (Poverty): 24
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 10.7%
Rank (Rural): 44
Description: Florida’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (7.5) tied for 12th lowest. Florida ranked among the bottom ten states on the rural factor. The deadliest fire in Florida since 1899 occurred in May 1996, when 110 died in a passenger jet crash caused by an on-board fire. Even though this incident occurred during the 1980-2007 period covered by this report, it involved a vehicle crash so was not within the study’s scope, as noted earlier.
Georgia
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 15.4
Rank (Death Rate): 12
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 14.3%
Rank (Education): 17 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.7%
Rank (Smoking): 33
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 14.4%
Rank (Poverty): 13 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 28.3%
Rank (Rural): 26
Description: Georgia’s average fire death rate (15.4) ranked 12th highest in 2003-2007. The deadliest Georgia fire since 1899 was a hotel fire in December 1946, which killed 119 people.
Hawaii
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 3.8
Rank (Death Rate): 50
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 12.7%
Rank (Education): 28 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 19.5%
Rank (Smoking): 48
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 9.8%
Rank (Poverty): 44
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 8.4%
Rank (Rural): 47 (tie)
Description: Hawaii’s average 2003-2007 fire death rate (3.8) ranked lowest of any state. Hawaii is one of the ten least populous states, which means its fire death rate can vary substantially even with 5-year averages, but it has been consistently low. Hawaii ranked among the ten lowest states on the poverty, smoker and rural factors. The deadliest fire in Hawaii since 1899 occurred in January 1969, on a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, where 24 people died.
Idaho
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.2
Rank (Death Rate): 34
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 10.9%
Rank (Education): 35
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 23.4%
Rank (Smoking): 40
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 13.9%
Rank (Poverty): 17
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 33.6%
Rank (Rural): 19
Description: Idaho’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (9.2) was 17th lowest in the U.S. Idaho is one of the ten least populous states, which means its fire death rate can vary substantially even with 5-year averages. The deadliest Idaho fire since 1899 occurred in May 1972, at a silver mine, where 91 people died.
Illinois
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.8
Rank (Death Rate): 27 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 12.7%
Rank (Education): 28 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 27.0%
Rank (Smoking): 16
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 12.0%
Rank (Poverty): 28
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 12.2%
Rank (Rural): 41
Description: Illinois’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (9.8) tied for 23rd lowest in the U.S. Illinois ranked among the ten lowest (best) states on the rural factor. The deadliest Illinois fire in history was a theater fire in December 1903, when 602 people died.
Indiana
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 13.9
Rank (Death Rate): 17
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 12.8%
Rank (Education): 26 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 28.0%
Rank (Smoking): 9 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 12.2%
Rank (Poverty): 27
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 29.2%
Rank (Rural): 23
Description: Indiana’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (13.9) was 17th highest in the U.S. Indiana was one of the ten highest states on the smoker factor. The deadliest fire in Indiana since 1899 was a gas explosion at a fairgrounds coliseum in October 1963; 75 people were killed.
Iowa
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.7
Rank (Death Rate): 29 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 10.1%
Rank (Education): 38
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 25.7%
Rank (Smoking): 24 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 10.9%
Rank (Poverty): 37 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 38.9%
Rank (Rural): 14
Description: Iowa’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (9.7) tied for 21st lowest in the U.S. The identification of the deadliest Iowa fire since 1899 involves some uncertainty. NFPA records identify a starch plant explosion and fire in May 1919, which was reported to have killed 43-44 people, according to insurance reports. Research by the Iowa state fire marshal, however, indicates that the death toll on this fire was revised downward, making the deadliest Iowa fire a mental hospital fire in January 1950, which killed 41 people.
Kansas
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 13.1
Rank (Death Rate): 18
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 8.6%
Rank (Education): 44
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 27.6%
Rank (Smoking): 12
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.7%
Rank (Poverty): 31
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 28.6%
Rank (Rural): 25
Description: The average 2003-2007 fire death rate (13.1) in Kansas ranked 18th highest in the U.S. The deadliest Kansas fire since 1899 was a coal mine incident in December 1916, which killed 20 people.
Kentucky
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 18
Rank (Death Rate): 8 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 21.1%
Rank (Education): 2
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 31.5%
Rank (Smoking): 2
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 16.8%
Rank (Poverty): 8
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 44.3%
Rank (Rural): 9
Description: Kentucky’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (18.0) tied for eighth highest. Kentucky was one of the ten highest states on the education, poverty, smoker, and rural factors. A lounge fire in May 1977, which killed 165 people, accounted for the highest death toll in a Kentucky fire since 1899.
Louisiana
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 20.6
Rank (Death Rate): 6 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 19.8%
Rank (Education): 4
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 27.5%
Rank (Smoking): 11
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 19.8%
Rank (Poverty): 2
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 27.3%
Rank (Rural): 27
Description: Louisiana’s average 2003-2007 fire death rate (20.6) tied for sixth highest. Louisiana was one of the top ten states for the education and poverty factors. The deadliest Louisiana fire since 1899 occurred at a grain elevator in December 1977; 36 people were killed.
Maine
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 7.6
Rank (Death Rate): 37
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 12.8%
Rank (Education): 26 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 26.6%
Rank (Smoking): 19 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 12.6%
Rank (Poverty): 25
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 59.8%
Rank (Rural): 2
Description: Maine’s average 2003-2007 fire death rate (7.6) was 14th lowest overall. Maine ranked among the top ten states on the rural factor. The deadliest Maine fire since 1899 was an orphanage fire in January 1945, which killed 17 people.
Maryland
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 10.5
Rank (Death Rate): 23 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 13.0%
Rank (Education): 24 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 22.6%
Rank (Smoking): 45 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 8.2%
Rank (Poverty): 49
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 13.9%
Rank (Rural): 38
Description: Maryland’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (10.5) tied for 23rd highest in the U.S. Maryland was one of the ten lowest (best) states on the poverty and smoking factors. The deadliest Maryland fire since 1899 occurred when lightning struck three fuel tanks on a passenger airliner in flight, resulting in explosion of the tanks and the deaths of all 81 people on board, in December 1963.
Massachusetts
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 6
Rank (Death Rate): 47 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 12.5%
Rank (Education): 30
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 23.1%
Rank (Smoking): 41 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 10.3%
Rank (Poverty): 40
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 8.6%
Rank (Rural): 46
Description: Massachusetts tied for third lowest in fire death rate (6.0) average in 2003-2007. Massachusetts was one of the ten lowest (best) states on the smoker and rural factors. The deadliest Massachusetts fire since 1899 was a November 1942 night club fire that killed 492 people.
Michigan
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 11.9
Rank (Death Rate): 20
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 11.5%
Rank (Education): 32 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 28.1%
Rank (Smoking): 8
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 13.2%
Rank (Poverty): 22
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 25.3%
Rank (Rural): 29
Description: Michigan’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (11.9) ranked 20th highest in the U.S. Michigan was one of the ten highest states on the smoker factor. The deadliest Michigan fire since 1899 occurred at a metal mine in November 1926, where 51 people were killed.
Minnesota
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 6.4
Rank (Death Rate): 43 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 7.3%
Rank (Education): 49 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 25.0%
Rank (Smoking): 30
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 9.2%
Rank (Poverty): 46
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 29.1%
Rank (Rural): 24
Description: Minnesota’s average 2003-2007 fire death rate (6.4) tied for seventh lowest in the U.S. Minnesota ranked among the ten lowest (best) states on the education and poverty factors. The deadliest Minnesota fire since 1899 was a forest fire in October 1918, which killed 559 people.
Mississippi
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 26.1
Rank (Death Rate): 1
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 20.1%
Rank (Education): 3
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 26.6%
Rank (Smoking): 19 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 21.3%
Rank (Poverty): 1
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 51.2%
Rank (Rural): 4
Description: Mississippi had the highest average state fire death rate (26.1) in 2003-2007. Mississippi was one of the top ten states on the poverty, education, and rural factors. The deadliest Mississippi fire since 1899 occurred at a night club in April 1940, when 207 people were killed.
Missouri
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 15.2
Rank (Death Rate): 13
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 14.6%
Rank (Education): 15
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 29.9%
Rank (Smoking): 3
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 13.3%
Rank (Poverty): 20 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 30.6%
Rank (Rural): 21
Description: Missouri’s average 2003-2007 fire death rate (15.2) ranked 13th highest in the U.S. Missouri was one of the top ten states on the smoker factor. The deadliest Missouri fire since 1899 was a nursing home fire in February 1957, which killed 72 people.
Montana
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.8
Rank (Death Rate): 27 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 7.9%
Rank (Education): 48
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 27.1%
Rank (Smoking): 13 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 14.4%
Rank (Poverty): 13 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 46.0%
Rank (Rural): 7
Description: Montana’s average 2003-2007 fire death rate (9.8) tied for 23rd lowest in the U.S. Montana is one of the ten least populous states and so its fire death rate can vary considerably even with 5-year averages. Montana was one of the ten highest states on the rural factor but one of the ten lowest (best) states on the education factor. Montana’s deadliest fire since 1899 involved a metal mine where 163 people died in June 1917.
Nebraska
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 11.1
Rank (Death Rate): 21
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 10.3%
Rank (Education): 37
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.5%
Rank (Smoking): 35 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 10.9%
Rank (Poverty): 37 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 30.3%
Rank (Rural): 22
Description: Nebraska’s average 2003-2007 fire death rate (11.1) was the 21st highest in the U.S. Nebraska’s deadliest fire since 1899 was a hotel fire which killed 20 people in January 1976.
Nevada
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 8.2
Rank (Death Rate): 36
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 13.4%
Rank (Education): 21
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 26.6%
Rank (Smoking): 19 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.1%
Rank (Poverty): 35 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 8.4%
Rank (Rural): 47 (tie)
Description: Nevada’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (8.2) was 15th lowest in the U.S. Nevada was one of the ten lowest states on the rural factor. The deadliest Nevada fire since 1899 was a hotel fire, which killed 85 people in November 1980.
New Hampshire
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 6.4
Rank (Death Rate): 43 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 8.1%
Rank (Education): 47
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 23.0%
Rank (Smoking): 43
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 7.5%
Rank (Poverty): 50
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 40.8%
Rank (Rural): 11
Description: New Hampshire’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (6.4) tied for seventh lowest of all the states. New Hampshire is one of the ten least populous states and its fire death rate has fluctuated considerably, even with 5-year averages. New Hampshire was one of the ten lowest (best) states on the education, smoker, and poverty factors. The deadliest New Hampshire fire was an insane asylum fire in February 1893 that killed 41 people. NFPA records show no New Hampshire fires after 1899 that killed ten or more people.
New Jersey
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 7.1
Rank (Death Rate): 41
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 13.0%
Rank (Education): 24 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 22.1%
Rank (Smoking): 47
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 8.7%
Rank (Poverty): 47
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 5.7%
Rank (Rural): 49
Description: New Jersey’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (7.1) was tenth lowest among all states. New Jersey was one of the ten lowest (best) states on the smoker, poverty, and rural factors. The deadliest New Jersey fire since 1899 came in June 1900, when a fire on a steamship killed 326 people.
New Mexico
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 10.8
Rank (Death Rate): 22
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 19.0%
Rank (Education): 7
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 23.6%
Rank (Smoking): 39
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 18.5%
Rank (Poverty): 3
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 25.0%
Rank (Rural): 30
Description: New Mexico’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (10.8) was the 22nd highest in the U.S. New Mexico was one of the ten highest states on the poverty and education factors. The deadliest New Mexico fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire in October 1913, which killed 263 people.
New York
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.3
Rank (Death Rate): 32 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 14.4%
Rank (Education): 16
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.5%
Rank (Smoking): 35 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 13.8%
Rank (Poverty): 18
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 12.5%
Rank (Rural): 39
Description: New York’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (9.3) tied for 18th lowest. The deadliest fire since 1899 in New York was in September 2001, when terrorist attacks initiated fires that led to building collapses that killed 2,749 civilians and firefighters. These fire deaths, possibly because they were not the direct result of fire, possibly because they were not unintentional, were not included in the 2001 statistics for New York.
North Carolina
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 14.5
Rank (Death Rate): 16
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 16.0%
Rank (Education): 12 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 26.9%
Rank (Smoking): 17 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 15.1%
Rank (Poverty): 12
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 39.8%
Rank (Rural): 12
Description: North Carolina’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (14.5) ranked 16th highest. North Carolina’s deadliest fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire in May 1925, which killed 53 people.
North Dakota
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 10.1
Rank (Death Rate): 26
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 10.0%
Rank (Education): 39 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 26.1%
Rank (Smoking): 23
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.2%
Rank (Poverty): 33 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 44.2%
Rank (Rural): 10
Description: North Dakota’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (10.1) was the 25th lowest. North Dakota is one of the ten least populous states, and its fire death rate has varied considerably, even with 5-year averages. North Dakota ranks among the ten highest states on the rural factor. North Dakota is one of three states that have had no fire killing ten or more people since 1899, according to NFPA records.
Ohio
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 10.5
Rank (Death Rate): 23 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 12.1%
Rank (Education): 31
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 28.2%
Rank (Smoking): 7
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 13.0%
Rank (Poverty): 23
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 22.7%
Rank (Rural): 32
Description: Ohio’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (10.5) tied for 23rd highest in the U.S. Ohio was one of the ten highest states on the smoker factor. Ohio’s deadliest fire since 1899 occurred in April 1930, at a penitentiary, when 320 people were killed.
Oklahoma
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 20.6
Rank (Death Rate): 6 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 14.8%
Rank (Education): 14
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 29.0%
Rank (Smoking): 5
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 16.5%
Rank (Poverty): 9
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 34.7%
Rank (Rural): 17
Description: Oklahoma’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (20.6) tied for sixth highest. Oklahoma was one of the ten highest states on the poverty and smoker factors. The deadliest Oklahoma fire or explosion since 1899 occurred in April 1995, when the bombing of an office building killed 168 people. Although this incident occurred during the period studied, it is not part of the statistics, probably because it involved a bomb blast.
Oregon
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 8.4
Rank (Death Rate): 35
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 11.3%
Rank (Education): 34
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 25.2%
Rank (Smoking): 28
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 14.1%
Rank (Poverty): 16
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 21.3%
Rank (Rural): 33
Description: Oregon’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (8.4) was 16th lowest in the nation. The deadliest Oregon fire since 1899 was a blasting-agent explosion and fire that destroyed or damaged several buildings in August 1959, killing 13 people.
Pennsylvania
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 14.7
Rank (Death Rate): 15
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 13.7%
Rank (Education): 20
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 26.9%
Rank (Smoking): 17 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.9%
Rank (Poverty): 29 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 23.0%
Rank (Rural): 31
Description: Pennsylvania’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (14.7) was 15th highest in the nation. The deadliest Pennsylvania fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire that killed 273 people in May 1928.
Rhode Island
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 22.5
Rank (Death Rate): 3
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 16.0%
Rank (Education): 12 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.8%
Rank (Smoking): 31 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 12.3%
Rank (Poverty): 26
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 9.1%
Rank (Rural): 45
Description: Rhode Island’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (22.5) was the third highest in the U.S. Rhode Island is one of the ten least populous states, so its fire death rate could vary substantially, even with 5-year averages. In this case, Rhode Island’s five-year-average fire death rate drops from second highest to below average if the 2003 nightclub fire that killed 100 people is excluded. Rhode Island ranked among the ten lowest (best) states on the rural factor. The deadliest Rhode Island fire since 1899 occurred on an aircraft carrier just off-shore, when 103 people died in a May 1954 fire. The deadliest on-shore Rhode Island fire since 1899 occurred in a nightclub, when 100 people died in a February 2003 fire.
South Carolina
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 18
Rank (Death Rate): 8 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 17.0%
Rank (Education): 11
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 28.7%
Rank (Smoking): 6
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 15.6%
Rank (Poverty): 10
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 39.5%
Rank (Rural): 13
Description: South Carolina’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (18.0) tied for eighth highest. South Carolina ranked as one of the ten highest states on the poverty and smoking factors. The deadliest South Carolina fire since 1899 occurred in May 1923, when a fire at a school killed 77 people.
South Dakota
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 15.1
Rank (Death Rate): 14
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 11.5%
Rank (Education): 32 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 26.2%
Rank (Smoking): 22
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 13.6%
Rank (Poverty): 19
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 48.1%
Rank (Rural): 5
Description: South Dakota’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (15.1) was 14th highest in the U.S. South Dakota is one of the ten least populous states, and its fire death rate has fluctuated considerably, even with 5-year averages. South Dakota was one of the ten highest states on the rural factor. South Dakota is one of three states that have not had any fires killing ten or more people since 1899, according to NFPA records. In 1899, a fire in what was then called an insane asylum, in Yankton, killed 17 people.
Tennessee
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 23.7
Rank (Death Rate): 2
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 18.2%
Rank (Education): 9
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 29.6%
Rank (Smoking): 4
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 15.5%
Rank (Poverty): 11
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 36.4%
Rank (Rural): 15
Description: Tennessee’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (23.7) was second highest in the U.S. Tennessee’s own analysis has shown that its fire death rate, based on victim’s place of death, is inflated by neighboring states using their excellent medical facilities. Analysis by victim’s state of residence would shown them as having the sixth highest fire death rate. Tennessee was one of the ten highest states on the education and smoker factors. The deadliest Tennessee fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire in May 1902, which killed 184 people.
Texas
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.7
Rank (Death Rate): 29 (tie)
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 21.8%
Rank (Education): 1
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 25.1%
Rank (Smoking): 29
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 17.6%
Rank (Poverty): 5
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 17.5%
Rank (Rural): 36
Description: In terms of its 2003-2007 average fire death rate (9.7), Texas tied for 21st lowest. Texas was one of the ten highest states on the education and poverty factors. The deadliest Texas fire since 1899 began on a ship and spread to a dockside chemical plant in April 1947, killing 468 people.
Utah
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 6.1
Rank (Death Rate): 46
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 7.3%
Rank (Education): 49 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 19.1%
Rank (Smoking): 49
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 10.2%
Rank (Poverty): 41 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 11.7%
Rank (Rural): 43
Description: Utah’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (6.1) was the fifth lowest in the nation. Utah was one of the ten lowest (best) states on the poverty, education, rural, and smoker factors. The deadliest Utah fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire in May 1900, which killed 200 people.
Vermont
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 10.3
Rank (Death Rate): 25
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 10.0%
Rank (Education): 39 (tie)
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 25.4%
Rank (Smoking): 27
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.5%
Rank (Poverty): 32
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 61.8%
Rank (Rural): 1
Description: Vermont’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (10.3) was 25th highest. Vermont is one of the ten least populous states and its fire death rate has varied considerably, even with 5-year averages. Vermont ranked among the ten highest states on the rural factor. The deadliest Vermont fire since 1899 began in a hardware store in February 1924; 11 people were killed.
Virginia
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 12.1
Rank (Death Rate): 19
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 13.9%
Rank (Education): 19
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.8%
Rank (Smoking): 31 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 10.0%
Rank (Poverty): 43
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 27.0%
Rank (Rural): 28
Description: Virginia’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (12.1) was 19th highest. Virginia was one of the ten lowest (best) states on the poverty factor. The deadliest Virginia fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire that killed 45 people in April 1938.
Washington
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 7.3
Rank (Death Rate): 40
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 8.5%
Rank (Education): 45
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 24.0%
Rank (Smoking): 38
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 11.9%
Rank (Poverty): 29 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 18.0%
Rank (Rural): 35
Description: Washington’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (7.3) ranked 11th lowest in the U.S. Washington was one of the ten lowest states on the education factor. The deadliest Washington fire since 1899 occurred at a sanitarium in July 1943, when 32 people were killed.
West Virginia
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 17.1
Rank (Death Rate): 10
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 17.6%
Rank (Education): 10
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 32.4%
Rank (Smoking): 1
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 18.0%
Rank (Poverty): 4
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 53.9%
Rank (Rural): 3
Description: West Virginia’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (17.1) ranked 10th highest in the nation. West Virginia was one of the ten highest states on the poverty, smoker, rural, and education factors. The deadliest West Virginia fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire in December 1907, which killed 362 people.
Wisconsin
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 9.4
Rank (Death Rate): 31
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 9.5%
Rank (Education): 42
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 27.1%
Rank (Smoking): 13 (tie)
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 10.2%
Rank (Poverty): 41 (tie)
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 31.7%
Rank (Rural): 20
Description: Wisconsin’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (9.4) was 20th lowest in the nation. Wisconsin was one of the ten lowest (best) states on the poverty and education factors. The deadliest Wisconsin fire since 1899 was a single-family dwelling fire in September 1987, which killed 12 people.
Wyoming
Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 6.3
Rank (Death Rate): 45
Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 9.1%
Rank (Education): 43
Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 25.5%
Rank (Smoking): 26
Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 9.5%
Rank (Poverty): 45
Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 34.8%
Rank (Rural): 16
Description: Wyoming’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (6.3) was sixth lowest in the U.S. Wyoming is one of the ten least populous states, but its fire death rate has been consistently low. Wyoming was one of the ten lowest states on the poverty and education factors. The deadliest Wyoming fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire in June 1903, which killed 169 people.
Download Unintentional Fire Death Rates by State 2003-2007 Google Earth (KML)