Fire Prevention Week

October 7-13, 2012 Focus on Fire Safety: Have 2 Ways Out

In the event of fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.

Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities. It's also a good idea to practice your plan with overnight guests. Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and window. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily
  • Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them
  • Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability
  • Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime

Important Reminders from U.S. Fire Administration:

  • Security Bars Require Special Precautions
  • Immediately Leave the Home
  • Never Open Doors that are Hot to the Touch
  • Designate a Meeting Place Outside and Take Attendance
  • Once Out, Stay Out

Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings

  • 92% of all civilian structure fire deaths resulted from home structure fires 
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries
  • Kitchens are the leading area of origin for home structure fires (37%) and civilian home fire injuries (36%)
  • Only 4% of home fires started in the living room, family room, or den; these fires caused 24% of home fire deaths
  • 8% of reported home fires started in the bedroom. These fires caused 25% of home fire deaths, 21% of home fire injuries, and 14% of the direct property damage
  • Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths
  • Home structure fires peak around dinner hours between 5:00 and 8:00 pm
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms
  • Most fatal fires kill one or two people. In 2011, 12 home fires killed five or more people. These 12 fires resulted in 67 deaths

*These statistics are from