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Why do I need a Fire Escape Ladder?

  • About Home Fires in the U.S.
  • How many deaths and injuries do Home Fires cause?
  • Where do Fires Start?
  • What causes Home Fires?
  • What Saves Lives?

Half of all home fire deaths resulted from fires that were reported between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Only one-fourth of the home fires occur during these hours.

January is the peak month for home fire deaths. February ranked second, and December was third.

Although children five and under make up about 9% of the country's population, they accounted for 17% of the home fire deaths, assigning them a risk twice the national average.

How many deaths and injuries do Home Fires cause?

The U.S. has one of the highest fire death rates in the industrialized world. For 2001, exclusive of the events of September 11, the U.S. fire death rate was 13.4 deaths per million population. – USFA

Between 1992 and 2001, an average of 4,266 Americans lost their lives and another 24,913 were injured annually as the result of fire. These averages do not reflect the events of September 11. – USFA

Each year, fire kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, 561 children ages 14 and under died from home fires in 2001.

Between 1992 and 2001, an average of 1.9 million fires were reported each year. Many others go unreported, causing additional injuries and property loss

Where do Fires Start?

Residential fires represent 23% of all fires and 76% of structure fires. Fires in 1-2 family dwellings most often start in the:

  1. Kitchen, 25.5%
  2. Bedroom, 13.7%
  3. Living Room, 8.6%
  4. Chimney, 8.2%
  5. Laundry Area, 5.0%

What causes Home Fires?

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. It is also the leading cause of home fire injuries. Cooking fires often result from unattended cooking and human error, rather than mechanical failure of stoves or ovens.

Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Smoke alarms and smolder-resistant bedding and upholstered furniture are significant fire deterrents.

Arson is both the second leading cause of residential fires and residential fire deaths. In commercial properties, arson is the major cause of deaths, injuries and dollar loss.

Heating is the third leading cause of residential fires. Heating fires are a larger problem in single family homes than in apartments. Unlike apartments, the heating systems in single family homes are often not professionally maintained.

What Saves Lives?

A working smoke alarm dramatically increases a person's chance of surviving a fire.

Over 90 percent of U.S. homes have at least one smoke alarm. However, these alarms are not always properly maintained and as a result might not work in an emergency. There has been a disturbing increase over the last ten years in the number of fires that occur in homes with non-functioning alarms.

It is estimated that over 39% of residential fires and 52% of residential fatalities occur in homes with no smoke alarms.

Residential sprinklers have become more cost effective for homes. Currently, few homes are protected by them.

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