On average, in the United States someone dies in a fire every 162 minutes and someone is injured every 32 minutes. The following statistics are staggering when you think about the fact that most of this can be avoided with a few simple safety measures.
The True Cost Of A Fire
Fire departments in the U.S. respond to approximately 399,000 residential fires resulting in 13,600 injuries, 2,865 deaths, and $7.4 billion in direct damage each year. Residential fires account for nearly 90% of all fire-related fatalities, and they are the third leading cause of unintentional deaths caused by an injury in the home and the ninth leading cause of home injuries resulting in an emergency department visit (NFPA.org)
Each year, approximately 490 children ages 14 and under die in residential fires. Half of all children who die in a fire are under age 5, and rates of death due to fire rise again in the 10 to 14 age group (NFPA.org). While the most significant cost of these fire-related deaths is in the pain and suffering of the children and families involved, they have a high financial cost as well. The total annual cost of fire- and burn-related deaths among children ages 14 and under is more than $2.6 billion. Children aged 4 and under account for more than $1.4 billion of these costs.
Several factors are associated with increased risk of death due to a house fire. The risk of a residential fire resulting in a child’s death is greater for families living in rural areas, in southern states, or in manufactured homes or substandard housing. During the cold-weather months of December through March, residential fires and home fire-related deaths are more likely to occur. In addition, children are more likely to die in a residential fire at night, and both African American and male children are at greater risk.
A range or stovetop is the leading cause of reported home fires in the United States. However, fires started by lighted tobacco products, principally cigarettes, constitute the leading cause of residential fires that result in death. In addition, alcohol use contributes to an estimated 40% of deaths due to residential fires.
Although only 5% of residential fires are caused by children playing with fire, such activity causes 40% of fire-related deaths among children. In fact, children under 5 years old playing with lighters cause more than 5,000 residential fires a year, resulting in approximately 150 deaths, and more than 1,000 injuries. Moreover, each year approximately $280 million in property is destroyed in the United States by children playing with fire.
In almost two-thirds (65%) of residential fires that result in a child’s death, the home in which the fire occurred had either no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm. It is estimated that every dollar spent on smoke alarms saves $69 in fire-related costs.
In order to prevent the human and financial costs of injury and death due to residential fires, a variety of fire safety initiatives have been developed. Fire safety refers to precautions that are taken to prevent or reduce the likelihood of a fire that may result in death, injury, or property damage; alert those in a structure to the presence of a fire in the event that one occurs; better enable those threatened by a fire to survive; or to reduce the damage caused by a fire.
Of course, preventing fires all together is the job of Home Hazard Prevention. Call us today to schedule your customized safety presentation to protect you and yours.
‘Safety Nick’, as he is affectionately known, is the owner and operator of Home Hazard Prevention, LLC (HHP). As a professional firefighter in the Valley since 2005 with an extensive background in responding to and preventing emergencies, Nick felt that it was time to help the citizens of Maricopa and Pinal Counties learn how to be safe and protect their loved ones in a proactive manner. In 2012, HHP was launched. With the support of his wonderful (and understanding!) wife and two beautiful children, Nick works tireless hours, not only to help save your family’s lives, as a firefighter and a community safety expert, but also to be able to spend quality time with his family. Nick moved to Arizona over 20 years ago and enjoys exploring our great state with his family.
Be sure to contact Home Hazard Prevention for any of your family or business safety needs. From mobile CPR training to car seat education to infant safety (and much more!) HHP is here to help! Remember, a complete safety program does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. There is no one more qualified than a group of professional firefighters to keep your family safe! (480) 448-0266 or Nick@HomeHazardPrevention.com
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