Report Examines Highway Vehicle Fire Causes, Characteristics

The U.S. Fire Administration has issued a special report titled "Highway Vehicle Fires," as part of its Topical Fire Report Series, which examines the causes and characteristics of highway vehicle fires. An estimated 258,500 highway vehicle fires occur annually resulting in 490 civilian deaths, 1,275 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in property loss.

"Highway vehicle fires account for nearly one out of every six fires," said Greg Cade, U.S. fire administrator. "It is important to focus on vehicle fire prevention and public safety to help reduce the number of vehicle-related fire deaths and injuries."

The report was developed by the National Fire Data Center, part of USFA, and is based on 2004-2006 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

According to the report, 84 percent of highway vehicle fires occur in passenger vehicles. Unintentionally started fires (29 percent) and the failure of equipment (28 percent) are the leading causes of highway vehicle fires. Sixty-two percent of highway vehicle fires originate in the engine, running gear, or wheel areas of the vehicle.

To view the report, go to www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/tfrs/v9i1.pdf.

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