Did you know that most Americans aren’t familiar with even the most basic fire safety tips and are incapable of dealing with a potential fire in their home or workplace?
In order to remedy this, we’ve created an extensive list of statistics, facts, and tips that will help people prevent fires—one of the most common household mishaps in the US. By engaging in fire prevention, you’ll be able to properly deal with a fire before it gets out of control and avoid injuries, property damage, or loss of life.
With fire safety education being so neglected, not only in the US but across the world, even the most basic information can be helpful. Starting with prevention, we’ll move on to the devices that save lives once a fire breaks out, and finally, we’ll cover the fire statistics that will show you the importance of investing your time in learning more about this topic.
Key Fire Safety Facts to Takeaway
40% of fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarm
$235 million per year in property damage is caused by children starting fires
Smoke alarms decrease the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%
In 2017 there were 3,400 deaths due to a fire in the US
Electric space heaters are the cause of 80% of house fires with a deadly outcome
Fire sprinklers can reduce the chance of death in homes bu 80%
According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters in the US respond to a fire every 24 seconds
33.7% of residential fires in 2016 were caused by cooking
So far there were 2,411 wildfires reported in 2019, 58,083 in 2018 and 71,499 in 2017
The most important part of educating the public on fire and safety should always be fire prevention. That’s why, first and foremost, we’re starting with a list of some basic prevention measures. By familiarizing yourself with the following, you’ll know what every household and workplace should adopt in order to be protected.
Home Fire Prevention Tips
No Smoking Indoors
Smoking is a habit most people aren’t proud of. However, those who can’t seem to kick the habit should keep it outside of their home and workplace, or any other closed space, as it’s a major fire hazard. Numerous deaths and injuries are reported every year due to people lighting a cigarette near a gas source or falling asleep with one in their hands. So what is the top cause of a house fire? Smoking takes the second spot, being responsible for 14.2% of fatal residential building fires in 2016.
Keep an Eye on the Food That’s Cooking
According to 2016 statistics, cooking was responsible for 6.6% of all house fires that resulted in death during the year. Those preparing food should never leave the stove unattended, especially when cooking in shallow pans with lots of oil. This is a commonly ignored rule of household fire prevention.
Position the Heat Source the Right Way
Making sure that your heat source is situated such that it won’t contact any potentially combustible materials is another major factor in fire prevention. Electric space heaters cause around a third of all winter house fires, and they are to blame in 80% of the house fires with a deadly outcome that occur during the winter, according to recent house fire statistics. Even more caution is needed when heating the space with gas-fired space heaters—they require additional safety measures, such as proper room ventilation.
Properly Maintain Appliances and Electrical Wiring
Having all your wiring checked by a professional is recommended for everyone moving to a new place, as faulty wiring easily starts a fire. In 2016, 9.6% of fatal building fires were a consequence of an electrical malfunction. Appliances, such as washers and dryers, also require proper professional maintenance, on a yearly basis at least.
Workplace Fire Prevention Tips
Supervise and Clean All Work Areas
Adequate supervision is necessary in some workplaces, such as restaurants, in order to properly prevent a fire. Any potential mistakes that can lead to a fire need to be corrected quickly. Additionally, the workspace needs to be properly cleaned in order to prevent any combustible materials from accumulating.
Avoid Blocking Access to Fire Equipment
One of the bases of proper fire safety in the workplace is allowing unobstructed access to firefighting equipment, such as fire extinguishers, at all times. Piling things in front of these necessary safety features is a big no-no, and doing so should be avoided and watched out for at all costs.
Maintain All Workplace Machinery Regularly
This is another one of the important basic fire safety rules. To protect your workplace, regular and proper maintenance of all the machinery that’s constantly in use is absolutely mandatory. Not doing so risks the machinery malfunctioning and employees getting injured in numerous ways, even apart from fire. Electrical maintenance and its importance can’t be stressed enough, for both home and work settings.
Provide Proper Fire Prevention Training
Employees at most workplaces are required to go through some sort of fire prevention course or at least a training session. In fact, making this practice an annual requirement has been proven to effectively cut the risk of fire, as well as the number of fire-related deaths and injuries in the workplace, significantly. However, some companies don’t take this requirement seriously and just cruise through it. Make sure yours isn’t one of them.
Devices and Systems That Deal with Fire
What is a fire safety system? Why should everyone have one?
In some cases, due to negligence or device malfunctions, no amount of preemptive measures can prevent a fire from breaking out. In these instances, two basic types of devices—which are also the two most common types of fire safety systems—are worth investing in. We’ve provided some statistics and basic information on them.
The most basic of all fire safety methods, a smoke alarm is a must-have for every residential and commercial space. Even though most of us consider them useless and find their only purpose to be their unpleasant wailing when something on the stove starts smoking too much, they’re an invaluable tool in preventing fire-related injuries and death. Here are some smoke alarm statistics and home safety tips related to them:
The risk of dying in a house fire is cut in half for those in homes with working smoke alarms.
Being warned of a fire early significantly increases your survival chances. This is why smoke alarms are considered a necessity, especially considering how working smoke alarms decrease the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%.
40% of home fire deaths occur in a home with no smoke alarm.
Home fire statistics show that 40% of all deaths that occur in a home fire happen when no smoke detector is present. How little we value our safety is best shown by the pricing of some smoke alarms, which go for as little as $9 on Amazon.
17% of home fire deaths occur due to a nonfunctional smoke alarm.
In 17% of deaths that occur in home fires, a smoke alert system was present, but it wasn’t operational. Checking if your smoke detector works is a small task that needs to be repeated weekly, fire prevention agencies warn. Even the simplest devices have a Test button on the back that can be set for a weekly check-up.
25% of smoke alarm failures with a deadly outcome occur due to a dead battery.
Estimates show that a quarter of all smoke alarm failures that ha