According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are between 350,000 and 400,000 house fires in the United States every year. Home fires are the biggest disaster threat to families in this country, above floods and hurricanes.
Here are some important tips to consider:
- Are the batteries working in all your smoke alarms?
- Does your home have interconnected smoke alarms (when one sounds, they all sound)?
- Do you test the batteries in the smoke alarms at least once a month?
- Does your family have a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of each room?
- Does your family practice the plan at least twice a year?
Some common causes of household fires are: cooking, heating, smoking materials, electrical, and candles.
- Heating equipment was the second leading cause of all reported house fires and home fire deaths.
- The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- 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.
- 41% of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment
- 53% of home electrical fires involved other known types of equipment, including ranges, washers/dryers, fans, and space heaters.
- On average, there are 35 home candle fires reported each day
- Roughly two-fifths of these fires started in the bedroom
- More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.
Remember to teach children about fire safety and to prepare them for the event of an actual fire. Visit www.nfpa.org for a fire safety family checklist.