According to the most recent study by the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to over 1,345,500 fires in 2015 across the United States. As a result of these fires, there were a total of 15,700 civilian injuries and 3,280 civilian deaths. Additionally, fires in 2015 resulted in over $14.3 billion in direct property loss. Of the 3,280 civilian deaths, 78% of these deaths occurred in the home. Across the nation, a civilian died in a home fire every three hours and 25 minutes in 2015. Of the 15,700 fire injuries reported, 71% of these injuries occurred in the home resulting in a fire related injury every 47 minutes across the U.S.
Unfortunately fires happen. Tennessee currently ranks sixth in the nation for fire mortality rates. In the most recent report by the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office, 60 fatal fires were recorded in 2015 that resulted in 72 deaths. While the cause of most of the fires is unknown, it is believed that smoking, electrical work, heating units, and cooking led to the most structure fires in 2015.
Whether these fires were intentional, “acts of God,” or caused by the negligence of the property owner, everyone should know what avenues of recovery are available to them. Survivors of a fire may experience serious burn injuries, such as third degree burns. If you are injured in a structure fire, you may have a claim against the homeowner’s insurance liability coverage on the property. It is important to note that the cause of the fire is a very important factor when deciding whether a homeowner’s liability coverage will cover an injured party’s injuries. Intentional acts by the owner and acts of God generally will not be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if the owner acted negligently and a fire resulted, then you may have a valid claim against the owner’s policy.