In Fire Experts and the Fire Code, fire expert witness Robert Rowe, Pyrocop, Inc., writes:
Fire codes are written by dedicated and knowledgeable fire experts who have, at one time or another during their fire service career have witnessed serious injury or the loss of life and property. So why does the U.S., the most powerful and technologically advanced nation in the world, still experience fire injuries, fire fatalities and pay out billions of dollars in insurance claims each year?
According to the 2007 fire statistics published by the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,557,500 fires. These fires resulted in 3,430 civilian fire fatalities, 17,675 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $14,639,000,000 in direct property loss. A civilian fire death occurred every 153 minutes and a civilian fire injury every 30 minutes. Home fires contributed 2,865, or 84%, of the civilian fire deaths.
If we as a nation took the time to truly understand and seriously consider the provisions of the fire code, without question, there would be a significant drop in the above statistics.