July 09, 1999
Over 40 firefighters died from injuries on the job each year, on average, from 1992 through 1997. Fires and explosions and transportation incidents contributed to just over three-quarters of the fatalities among firefighters. Exposure to harmful substances or environments was the next most common event leading to a fatality.
The average rate of fatal workplace injuries to firefighters was 16.5 per 100,000 employed for the period 1992-97, compared to a rate of 4.7 per 100,000 for all workers. The fatality rate for firefighters varied over the 6-year period. In 1994, a single forest fire in Colorado claimed 14 lives and was primarily responsible for increasing the rate to 21.5 fatalities per 100,000 employed. In 1996, the rate fell to a low of 13.7 fatalities per 100,000 workers.
These data are a product of the BLS Safety and Health Statistics Program. Additional information is available in "Fatalities to Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters, 1992-97" (PDF 43K), Compensation and Working Conditions, Summer 1999.