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Did You Know? Fire Facts

Did You Know?

  • One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010.
  • Most fatal fires kill one or two people.  In 2010, 19 home fires killed five or more people. These 19 fires resulted in 101 deaths.
  • In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half actually practiced it.
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from 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.
  • Cooking has been the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries since 1990. Unattended cooking was by far the leading cause of these fires. Two-thirds of home cooking  fires began with ignition of cooking materials, including food, cooking oil, fat, or grease  
  • Cooking caused two of every five (42%)  of reported home fires, roughly one of every seven  (15% ) home fire deaths, and two of every five (37% ) home fire injuries, and 11% of direct property damage from home fires in 2010. 
  • In 2010, smoking materials started and estimated 17,500 home structure fires, resulting in 540 deaths, 1,320 injuries and $535 million in direct property damage. Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Sleep was a factor in two of every five home smoking material fire deaths. Possible alcohol impairment was reported in one quarter of these deaths.
  • In 2010, electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in an estimated 46,500 home structure fires resulting in 420 deaths, 1,520 injuries and $1.5 billion in property damage.
  • On average, there are 35 home candle fires reported per day.
  • More than one-third 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.
  • In 2010, candles caused 3% of home fires, 4% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries and 5% of direct property damage from home fires.
  • Automatic fire sprinkler systems cut the risk of dying in a home fire by about 83%.
  • Home fire sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
  • Sprinklers are highly effective because they react so quickly in a fire. They reduce the risk of death or injury from a fire because they dramatically reduce the heat, flames and smoke produced, allowing people time to evacuate the home.

Sources

National Fire Protection Association – NFPA

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