“Have Two Ways Out”
It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That's why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan.
The following are facts presented by the NFPA:
- 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.
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, less than half actually practiced it.
- One-third of Americans households estimated they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!
- 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. In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 92% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 77% of the time.
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.
- Ranges accounted for the 58% of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.90% of burns associated with cooking equipment resulted from contact with hot equipment or some other non-fire source.
Heating equipment was the leading cause of reported home fires in the 1980s and has generally ranked second since them. It is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Fires involving heating equipment peak in December, January and February, as do deaths from these fires.
- The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (79%) home heating deaths.