Non-state firefighting services are not a panacea. Some houses may burn down due to the failure of homeowners to plan ahead. But libertarian firefighters have the capacity to be flexible in payment options. This is one reason why they are superior. Libertarianism promises greater accountability, not a perfect world. Under libertarianism, it will be easier to hold people responsible for their actions. This will in many cases produce better outcomes. No longer can corporations wantonly pollute the air. No longer can states commit genocide in the name of national defense.
I’m not advocating privatization of firefighting services. Privatization of government services is more akin to corporatization. See Blackwater, private prisons and Halliburton. Corporatization separates the responsible party from the ability to hold them accountable. With government, there are elections, the ability to file complaints, order investigations and the freedom of information (FOIA) act. You can’t file an FOIA request with Blackwater. This is not what libertarianism has in mind.
Libertarianism requires accountability. It seeks a marketplace that operates under its natural regulation – the decisions of people to buy and sell, or not. Without the state in the picture, individuals can better hold others accountable for their misdeeds. Offenders are brought before arbitration agencies and made to make restitution. They can be excluded from the marketplace. People can freely exchange information about which vendors are fulfilling their obligations and which are acting improperly. Libertarianism is about choice and accountability, exactly the opposite of what the state offers.