Fire deaths and prevention tips

The risk of injury and death from home fire is real. Consider that:

In 2016, fire departments across the country responded to 475,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 14,660 injuries, 3,390 civilian deaths and caused $10.6 billion in damage, 173,000 were vehicles fires, causing 280 civilian deaths, 1,075 civilian fire injuries and $933 million in property damage.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.

Keep your home fire safe

Your home should be a safe and comfortable place and you can help keep it fire safe by following these prevention tips:

∫ Cook with care. When you cook, never leave cooking food unattended on the stove. Keep anything that can catch on fire, like potholders and towels, away from the cooking area. Do not use your oven or stove top to heat your home.

∫ If you smoke, attempt to quit. Don’t smoke inside your home. If you do smoke in your home, never smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended.

∫ Stay warm-safely. If and when you use a space heater, keep it at least three feet away from anything that can catch on fire, like draperies, clothing, bedding or upholstered furniture and turn off the heater when sleeping or leaving the room. Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one third of home heating fires.

∫ Be alarmed. Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including the basement, and make sure you have smoke alarms near all sleeping rooms. For better protection, install smoke alarms in sleeping rooms, especially if they are occupied by a smoker. For best protection test all smoke alarms once a month.

∫ Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional. Creosote is a sticky, oily combustible substance created when wood does not burn completely. It rises into the chimney as a liquid and deposits on the chimney wall, which has the potential to cause a chimney fire.

∫ Make and practice an escape plan. Create a home fire escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and plan a designated meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan twice a year with everyone living in your home.

In New York State, fire related injuries are among the ten leading causes of death. Those at highest risk for home fire deaths and injuries include some of our most vulnerable citizens: children under the age of 5, adults age 65 and over, and people with physical disabilities.

Keep your home fire safe and protect yourself! Visit us on facebook or at: http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Fire-Prevention/fireprevention.htm.

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