Statistics concerning fires, their consequences and their causes, are collected through a number of different channels (fire services, insurance claims, hospital/medical statistics, police reports, government surveys) and with very different collection and treatment methods according to the channel of information and different countries’ national practices (eg. different “thresholds” for recording incidents, different definitions).
Even statistics for deaths related to fires, vary considerably, in that some countries will record all deaths whose origin is fire–related, whereas others may only register deaths occurring at the fire or shortly afterwards.
As a consequence, it is very difficult to compare fire statistics between countries and to obtain an overall view of fire statistics at a world level.
Fire reporting is generally much more “comprehensive” in developed countries (structured statistical services, good coverage by both fire services and insurance companies, so that most incidents are reported in some way), so that apparently lower fire occurrence levels in developing countries simply may be an artifice of lower levels of reporting.
The most comprehensive collections of world fire statistics are provided by ‘CTIF’, the ‘International Association of Fire and Rescue Service’, and by the ‘International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics’, in Geneva.
Additional collections of fire statistics can be found in the following links:
World Fire Statistics Bulletin (see under « Geneva Association Information Newsletters »)
International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF)
Official US fire statistics
NFPA (see under « Research and Reports »)
CPSC (enter "fire loss" in search)
Fire statistics UK (home office)
Environ (see under « Fire and emergency planning »)
VFDB (see under “Feuerwehrstatistik”)
FIRE (see “Facts and statistics” in left hand menu)