Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as it relates to fires in the U.S. last year.
- In 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,280 civilian deaths, 15,700 civilian injuries, and $14.3 billion in property damage.
- 501,500 were structure fires, causing 2,685 civilian deaths, 13,000 civilian injuries, and $10.3 billion in property damage.
- 204,500 were vehicle fires, causing 500 civilian fire deaths, 1,875 civilian fire injuries, and $1.8 billion in property damage.
- 639,500 were outside and other fires, causing 95 civilian fire deaths, 825 civilian fire injuries, and $252 million in property damage.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from becoming a casualty of a fire.
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them monthly and replace the batteries annually.
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 911.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
- Purchase fire extinguishers, and learn how to properly use them
Develop Fire-Safe Habits
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or in close proximity to anyone in the home who is using oxygen.
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.
- Cook with care. Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove. Keep anything that can catch on fire, like potholders, towels, or long sleeves away from the cooking area.
- Never use a range or oven to heat your home.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. If you need to plug multiple items into an outlet, use a surge protector.
- If you live in an apartment or condominium. Do not grill in on the balcony/porch or breezeway. Per Fire Department Code, you must grill at least ten feet away from any building.
- If you live in a house, make sure the grill is at least ten feet away from the house or garage structure.
Be Aware, Be Smart, Be Safe.