- Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. About one in five smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Have an escape plan and practice it. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) believes that having a sound escape plan will greatly reduce fire deaths and protect you and your family’s safety if a fire occurs. USFA offers tips for creating a fire escape plan.
- In case of a fire, get out immediately and stay out.
Facts and Tips
Cooking Equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated injuries, with unattended cooking being the leading cause of these fires.
- Do not leave cooking unattended.
Heating equipment is the second leading cause of reported home fires and home fire deaths. These fires peak in December, January and February.
- Clean chimneys.
- Do not keep heating equipment near things that can burn such as upholstery, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
Smoking materials such as cigarettes also cause fires. Although the percentage of home fires caused by smoking materials is low, they are a leading cause of death in home fires.
- Use ashtrays with a wide and stable base.
- If you do smoke, smoke outside.
- Put out cigarettes in an ashtray or can filled with sand. Make sure your cigarette is fully out, especially if you are drowsy due to medicine or alcohol.
Electrical fires are often caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment, or equipment such as dryers, fans or space heaters.
- Replace worn or frayed cords.
- Do not overload extension cords or sockets.
Candles also cause home fires, with roughly two-fifths of these starting in the bedroom.
- Make sure that there are no flammable objects near candles.
- Do not leave burning candles unattended.