The epidemiology of fire-related deaths in Alabama, 1992-1997.

Academic Article


  • The state of Alabama has one of the highest fire-related fatality rates in the nation. The goal of this study was to present the epidemiology of fire-related deaths in the state of Alabama. Fatality reports for all fire-related deaths in the state of Alabama from 1992 to 1997 were obtained from the State Fire Marshall's Office. Fatality rates were calculated and compared according to age, sex, and race. Descriptive statistics were generated for population and fire characteristics. Fatality rates were higher among black people, men, children, and older people. Approximately half (48.8%) of the deaths occurred between the months of November and March; July had the lowest proportion of deaths (5.0%). Residential fires accounted for the largest proportion of deaths. Fatality rates were higher for mobile home residents. Overall, smoke detectors were present in only 32.5% of the residential fires. The presence of smoke detectors was more common with deaths in urban locations (41.8%) than with deaths in rural locations (20.8%). The most frequently reported cause of fatal fires was misuse of cigarettes. More than half of the victims aged 18 years and older tested positive for alcohol. Fire prevention efforts should focus on smoke detectors, fire-safe cigarettes, and alcohol. Mobile home residents should also be targeted for fire prevention initiatives.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • Accident Prevention, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Alabama, Alcohol Drinking, Burns, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Fires, Housing, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Middle Aged, Racial Groups, Risk Assessment, Rural Population, Sex Factors, Smoke Inhalation Injury, Smoking
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McGwin G; Chapman V; Rousculp M; Robison J; Fine P
  • Start Page

  • 75
  • End Page

  • 73
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 1 Pt 1