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Public Health Rep. 1992 Jul-Aug;107(4):402-8.

Descriptive epidemiology of unintentional residential fire injuries in King County, WA, 1984 and 1985.

Author information

1
Occupational Health Services, Boeing Company, Seattle, WA 98124-2207.

Abstract

Although most studies have concentrated on fatal residential fire injuries, which are a leading cause of fatal injuries in the United States, few investigators have examined in detail nonfatal injuries as a consequence of residential fires. This population-based study used the Washington State Fire Incident Reporting System to assess the incidence and descriptive epidemiology of fatal and nonfatal burns or respiratory tract damage resulting from unintentional residential fires. For the 2-year period 1984-85 in King County, WA, the mortality rate due to injury in a residential fire was 0.7 per 100,000 per year, and the incidence of nonfatal injuries was 5.6 per 100,000 per year. Of 17 fatalities, 59 percent of the deaths occurred at the scene of the fire. Of 128 persons with nonfatal injuries, 19 percent were hospitalized; although the 55 percent seen as outpatients and the 26 percent treated by the fire department or paramedics at the fire scene usually had minor injuries, they would not have been captured if only traditional data sources had been employed. Those injured averaged 2.8 days of restricted activity, but the range was from less than 1 day to 1 year. Injuries were more common in the households with a low socioeconomic status and among nonwhites, especially American Indians. Variation in incidence by age, sex, and source of ignition for deaths and nonfatal injuries suggests appropriate targets for future fire injury prevention programs.

PMID:
1641436
PMCID:
PMC1403670
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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