In June 2011, the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) will release its 2010 Annual Report. Below is a portion of the data included in the report that highlights Oregon’s structural fire agency response during 2010. If interested in additional fire data, visit the OSFM’s website: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM
- Structural Fires Decline in 2010: Oregon’s structural fire agencies responded to 10,434 fires in 2010. This represents a 7.6% decline from 2009, and the continuation of a long term downward trend. Oregon fires have declined an average of 3.3% annually over the last ten years. This trend is solid evidence that the fire prevention education, engineering, and enforcement focus along with efforts of the OSFM and Oregon’s fire agencies are making a positive impact across the state.
- Leading Fire Causes:The leading fire causes in 2010 were heating equipment (12%), cigarettes (11%), cooking (11%), and electrical (9%). Our annual report presents the five-year trends of several common causes of fire, most of which are declining. Only cooking fires showed a significant upward trend in 2009 and 2010. Cooking is the number one cause of fire-related injuries in Oregon, accounting for 19% of reported injuries.
- Building Fires Decline: Building fires (non-confined structure fires) account for 22% of all fires in Oregon, but are responsible for the vast majority of the state’s fire related casualties and property loss. Building fires declined by 4% from 2009.
- Majority of Fires are Residential: The majority (43%) of Oregon’s fires occurred on residential properties, including single- and multi-family dwellings, hotels, residential board and care facilities, and dormitories.
- Mobile Property Fires: Although fires in fixed mobile property (e.g. mobile homes, motor homes, and campers used as a fixed residence) make up only 1% of all Oregon fires, they are responsible for 25% of the fire-related deaths in 2010.
- Smoke Alarms in Homes: Smoke alarm presence in Oregon homes has significantly improved over the last 10 years. In 2010, smoke alarms were present in 62% of all home structure fires, compared to only 47% in 2001.
- Oregon Fire Fatalities: There were 24 civilian fire fatalities in 2010. Of these, 16 were in unintentional residential structure fires, five were in vehicle fires resulting from single-car crashes, and three were suicides. Heating equipment was involved in the majority (6) of the fatal residential fires, and three of these involved portable heaters. Cigarettes, the second leading cause of fatal residential fires in 2010, are responsible for three deaths. Unfortunately, the first five months of 2011 saw twice the number of fire fatalities than the same period in 2010. 2011 year-to-date, there have been 20 fire fatalities, including five children ages five and under, in Oregon. Fire causes are still under investigation; however, it appears that heating equipment, in too close proximity to combustibles, will again be a significant cause of fatal fires this year.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
June 10, 2011