FIRE PREVENTION IN THE HOME
According to the National Fire Protection Association,
- In 2003, 80% of fires in the United States occurred in the home, resulting in 3,925 fire deaths.
- In the U.S., someone dies from a home fire roughly every 134 minutes.
- In Canada, someone is fatally injured in a home fire roughly every 31 hours.
- Roughly half of all home fire deaths in the U.S. resulted from fires that were reported between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. But only one-quarter of home fires occur between those hours.
- Although children five and under make up about 9% of the country's population, they accounted for 17% of the home fire deaths.
- Smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths overall, but in the months of December, January and February, smoking and heating equipment caused similar shares of fire deaths.
- Every 20 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation.
With these startling statistics in mind, here are some safety tips for you:
Smoke is responsible for three out of four deaths.
- Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas.
- Test every detector at least once a month. [See your instruction book for the location of the test button.]
- Keep smoke detectors dust free. Replace batteries with new ones at least once a year, or sooner if the detector makes a chirping sound.
- If you have a smoke detector directly wired into your electrical system, be sure that the little signal light is blinking periodically. This tells you that the alarm is active.
- Inexpensive smoke detectors are available for the hearing impaired.