According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA.org) electrical failure or malfunctions caused an estimated 44,900 home fires in 2013, resulting in 410 deaths and $1.3 billion in direct property damage.
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With Fire Prevention Week 2016 wrapping up I thought I would share part 2 of some fast fire fact’s that NFPA shared.
Escape planning * 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, more than half never 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!
Heating * The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean. This usually involved creosote build-up in chimneys.
* Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in one-third (33%) of home heating fires and four out of five (81%) home heating deaths.
* Just over half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
* In most years, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries
Leading up to Fire Prevention Week 2016 next week I thought I would share some fast fire fact’s that NFPA shared.
Home fires * Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. 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 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 367,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,745 deaths, 11,825 civilian injuries, and $6.8 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. In 2014, 15 home fires killed five or more people resulting in a total of 88 deaths.
* During 2009-2013, roughly one of every 335 households had a reported home fire per year.
* Three out of five home fire deaths in 2009-2013 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.
This year the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association – NFPA.org) has released its Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” Fire Prevention Week occurs October 9th – October 15th. This campaign represents the final year of their three-year effort to educate the public about basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety.
Why focus on smoke alarms three years in a row? Because data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced.
As a result of those and related findings, they’re addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages:
* Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
* Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
* To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.