The overall theme of National Fire Prevention Week changes each year, and in 2017 the theme is: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out”
Over the past several years we have looked at the fires that occurred on October 8, 1871. The most famous, yet arguably the smaller of fires, was the Great Chicago Fire.
It is for this reason that President Calvin Coolidge in 1922 proclaimed that the week in which October 9 falls should be named Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of these fires.
Fire Prevention Week is now the longest running public health observance in our country’s history. The overall theme of National Fire Prevention Week changes each year, and in 2017 the theme is:
“Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out”
So, for this week’s article I wanted to bring you some Fast Facts about fire authored by our friends at the NFPA.
• Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours.
• One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
• Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
• In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage.
• On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
• Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.• Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
• Most fatal fires kill one or two people.
• During 2010-2014, roughly, one of every 338 households reported a home fire per year.
• According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
• Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half ever practiced it.
• One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!
• Three out of five home fire deaths in 2010-2014 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
• Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
• In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80% of the time.
• When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
• An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.