Report: NFPA's "Fires in Structures Under Construction or Renovation"
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: February 2020
- Local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,840 fires in structures under construction and 2,580 fires in structures under major renovation per year in 2013-2017.
- Three of every four fires in structures under construction involved residential properties.
- Cooking equipment is the leading cause of fires on construction sites, while electrical distribution and lighting equipment was the leading cause of fires in structures under major renovation.
- The fires in structures under construction caused an average of four civilian deaths, 49 civilian injuries, and $304 million in direct property damage annually, while those in structures under major renovation caused averages of eight civilian deaths, 52 civilian injuries, and $104 million in direct property damage annually.
NFPA codes & standards
Many large and costly fires involving buildings under construction underscore the need for more widespread use of NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration and Demolition Operations, to address a range of related hazards.
Multiple large-scale fires have occurred at construction sites in 2017, resulting in multi-millions dollar losses - both in direct property damage and losses beyond the structure of origin. Many, if not all, of these incidents could have been prevented with the safeguards included in NFPA 241.
From NFPA Journal®
For NFPA members