Fire Fighters spraying water on massive fire

The United States depends on about 1.1 million fire fighters to protect its citizens and property from fire. Approximately 336,000 are career fire fighters, 812,000 are volunteers, and 80 to 100 die in the line of duty each year.

To address this occupational hazard, the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program conducts independent investigations of fire fighter line-of-duty deaths.


NIOSH has released publication No. 2018-154 Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters Working at Basement and Other Below-Grade Fires. This Workplace Solutions document summarizes findings from NIOSH fire fighter fatality investigations and highlights: the risks that fire fighters face fighting basement and below grade fires; recommendations to minimize risks to fire fighters; and fire behavior research by Underwriters Laboratories and NIST.

Safety Tip
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Phase in a mandatory comprehensive wellness and fitness program for fire fighters.

Page last reviewed: April 3, 2018