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Probability Distribution Of Fire Losses

Hasofer, A.M. and Thomas, I.R., 2003. Probability Distribution Of Fire Losses. Fire Safety Science 7: 1063-1072. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.7-1063


Data on fire losses in Hotels and Motels collected by the National Fire Incident Reporting System in the USA between 1983-1995 are statistically analyzed. It is shown, using as illustration the year 1988 data, that the non-zero fire losses closely follow a lognormal distribution. For the years 1983-1995 the deflated mean and coefficient of variation, as well as the percentage of zero-loss fires, have remained practically constant. A new technique for estimating high quantiles of the distribution, based on recent work in the Theory of Extreme Value Distributions, is presented and used to obtain the 99% quantile of the fire loss for the year 1988. The result matches closely the estimate obtained by linear interpolation, but an estimate based on the lognormal distribution parameters derived from the global data seriously underestimates the percentile. A table of the coefficients required to calculate high quantiles for the whole period (1983-1995) is given.


fire losses, hotels, motels, nfirs database, lognormal distribution, high quantil estimation, fire loss time variation

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