Deaths from fires and burns are the third leading cause of fatal home injury.
Smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
Cooking is the primary cause of residential fires.
Alcohol contributes to about 40% of residential fire deaths.
Most victims of fires die from smoke or toxic gases and not from burns.
Fires shown in movies and television for entertainment can leave the wrong impression about the speed at which fires grow and the amount of time available for escape. This can cause people to underestimate the danger of fire and cause them to make bad decisions in the event of a fire.
Some groups are at higher risk for fire-related injuries and deaths. These groups are:
Children 4 and under
Adults ages 65 and older
African Americans and Native Americans
Those in poverty
Persons living in rural areas
Residents of manufactured homes
Prepare Your Family
There are some important actions you can take to reduce the chances of a fire-related tragedy.
Teach your children that they should get out immediately and stay out if they see a fire.
Call 911 from a safe place.
Make a fire escape plan and practice it with all family members.
Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house.
Teach children not to hide from firefighters
Have a meeting place a safe distance away from the house for all family members to gather.
Have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and at each sleeping area of your home.
Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm.
Check alarms regularly and replace the batteries at least once each year.
Smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years.
Install carbon monoxide detectors.
Consider installing residential fire sprinklers in your home.
Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
Check under beds and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.