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Why Home Fire Safety is Essential

Why Home Fire Safety is Essential

A recent report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) titled Fire Loss in the United States during 2022 revealed some troubling statistics. In particular, the information on residential fires is worrisome to fire protection experts. While fire protection professionals are working on strategies to improve home fire safety in all areas of life, these recent statistics show why everyone should be mindful of their personal safety when it comes to the risk of a home fire.

The overall impact

According to the NFPA report, fire departments in the United States were called to approximately 1.35 million fires. This means that fire departments responded to a fire every 23 seconds, or about 3,700 fires per day. The overall number of fires and their impacts are down, but for residential fires, there are some secondary statistics to consider that paint a worrisome picture.

The NFPA report notes some significant improvements.

“The total number of fire incidents estimated for 2022 is 55 percent lower than in 1980”

“The total number of fire deaths estimated for 2022 was 42 percent lower than in 1980”

Fires in residential buildings

Unfortunately, most of the alarming statistics were found in connection with residential fires. For example, residential fires accounted for only 25% of all reported fires, but caused 75% of fire-related deaths and 76% of fire-related injuries. This is problematic because it shows that flat fires are responsible for a disproportionate share of fire-related deaths and injuries.

The number of deaths from residential fires, particularly in one- and two-family dwellings, was significantly higher than in 1980-35% higher. This indicates a disturbing trend: Fire safety in homes is declining, and more needs to be done to make these fires less deadly.

Personal fire safety

Ultimately, fire safety standards can only do so much to protect individuals. It’s up to each individual to take their own home fire safety seriously and make sure they have safe behaviors in place, that their fire safety systems are up to date and in working order, that they get training on how to use fire extinguishers, and that they conduct evacuation drills in their home to make sure they have a plan for how to leave in case of an emergency. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to respond appropriately if a home fire does occur.

Home fire safety measures

These home fire safety measures may seem simple, but a surprising number of house fires are started because these precautions were not taken:

  • Heaters should be at least three feet away from curtains, bedding, and clothing.
  • Matches and lighters should always be kept out of reach of children.
  • Candles should not be placed near curtains or other flammable items.
  • Food cooking on the stove should not be left unattended. If you are multi-tasking while cooking and working in another area of the home, set an alarm to remind you to check on the pot!
  • Do not overload outlets with multiple dual adapters and power supplies. If you have a lot of appliances in one room, have an electrician install additional outlets.
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