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Residential property fires cause millions of dollars in property damage a year. They can destroy single-family homes and multiple-family rental properties. They destroy or severely damage valuable possessions in a property that catches fire. They can also cause injury and even death to the occupants of a property.

People often overlook how dangerous and common house fires actually are. Compared with car crashes, for example, a house fire may not seem like a very substantial source of injury risk. However, more people get hurt in fires every year than you might imagine.

How often do fires occur, and how many people get hurt in them?

According to data provided by the United States Fire Administration, there is a residential fire that causes someone injury roughly every 44 minutes in the United States. For those people caught up in those fires, the biggest risks are burns from the fire itself and smoke inhalation. Together, these two injuries represent 78% of all residential fire injuries.

Statistics show that the majority of people who get hurt in fires get hurt in residential fires, not in fires that take place in commercial properties. Residential fires can happen both in single-family homes and large apartment buildings, which means the actions of another person, like a neighboring tenant or landlord, can impact your safety.

If the fire that you experienced was the result of someone else’s behavior, like falling asleep with a cigarette going, or if the severity of the fire was the result of a landlord’s unwillingness to update and maintain a property, you may have grounds to bring a claim against that person or their insurance company. An attorney can provide more information about your legal options.