AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Facts about house fires

Unintentional injury and death from fires and burns continue to be a major cause of unintentional injury and death in the home. The extremely young and the very old are particularly vulnerable.


Every year, almost 4,000 Americans perish in house fires, with another 2000 suffering serious injuries.

A house fire can reach temperatures of nearly 1100 degrees Fahrenheit in just 3 1/2 minutes.

Approximately 80% of all civilian fire deaths occur in the house.

The temperature in rooms that aren’t even on fire can reach above 300 degrees, which is hot enough to melt plastic and kill the people within.

Adults aged 65 and up are more than twice as likely as the general population to perish in fires.

Careless smoking is the biggest cause of fire deaths.

Having a working smoke detector increases one’s odds of surviving a fire by more than twofold.

In the United States, 106 firefighters died in the course of duty in 2005.

Fatalities and the Factors That Contribute to Them

Gases and fumes produced by fire might make you tired, weak, and confused. Because you can’t smell these fumes, they won’t wake you up if you’re sleeping – but a smoke alarm will.

Unlike in the movies, the smoke from a house fire can be so heavy that even with all the lights turned on, your house will be completely dark in 4 minutes!

House Fires and Their Causes

The majority of residential fires are caused by faulty equipment or wiring.

Another major contributor is heating devices such as heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces. Most fires start because something close to the heat source, such as furniture, boxes, or clothing, overheats and ignites.

Another common cause of house fires is cigarettes. Most fires begin when a cigarette is dropped on furniture such as beds, sofas, or chairs before going to bed.

Every year, children playing with fire cause numerous accidents and house fires.

Two out of every three people killed in house fires were sleeping at the time the fire started.

Smoke alarms double or triple your odds of surviving a house fire.

Install a smoke alarm near the sleeping areas at all times.

Replace the battery in your smoke alarm once a year or whenever the alert chirps. Never remove a smoke alarm’s battery without replacing it.

You Must Teach Your Children These Things

  • What a smoke alarm sounds like: When a smoke alarm sounds, some youngsters flee and hide. They can respond correctly to the alert by creating and rehearsing a house fire escape strategy.

  • At a fire, a fireman looks like this: Introduce your children to the equipment that a fireman might wear and/or carry. Air masks, as well as the heavy breathing sounds they make, and axes, can be terrifying to youngsters, causing them to hide rather than respond to their cries.

  • Always teach youngsters two escape routes out of every room (i.e., window and door).

  • Stay low during the escape: Crawl as close to the floor as possible to a safe exit under the cover of smoke.

  • Test the safety of their escape route by pressing the back of their hand against a closed door to see if it is hot. Use a different exit if it’s hot.

  • Where to gather after the escape: Everyone must assemble outside the house at a previously designated meeting location so that firefighters are aware that everyone has escaped.

  • To get help, dial 911 from a neighbor’s house.

  • Stay out: Never return to a burning home to retrieve items such as toys, clothing, or pets.

  • To protect yourself and your family, follow the safety tips listed below.

Detectors of Smoke

One is surely insufficient! Smoke detectors should be installed on every floor of a property, especially outside of sleeping rooms.

Make sure your smoke detectors are examined every month and that the batteries are updated every two years. When you replace your clocks, update the batteries.

Children should be encouraged to assist in the testing of smoke detectors. Familiarize them with the alarm sounds (s).

Extinguishers are used to put out fires.

In your kitchen, keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher (one rated for grease fires and electrical fires.)

Fire extinguishers should be kept near the furnace, garage, and other areas where a fire could start. These fire extinguishers are a low-cost, life-saving piece of equipment for your home.

Ensure that every capable member of the family has been trained and is familiar with how to use the fire extinguishers.

If you must use an extinguisher, make sure you have a clear path out in case you are unable to extinguish the fire.


Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of children’s reach and sight!

It is harmful to smoke! Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever Before dumping ashes, be sure that cigarettes/cigars have been properly extinguished.

Grease accumulation in the kitchen and on appliances should be avoided. Cooking fires are a common occurrence. Cooking meals on the burner should never be left unattended.

If a fire breaks out, use a pot/pan lid or a cookie sheet to suffocate it, or close the oven door.

Christmas trees are a major problem during the holidays. Consider investing in a “flame proof” artificial tree. If you’re going to utilize an evergreen, make sure to water it every day to keep it from drying out. Make careful to check stringed lights and window ornaments for deterioration once a year.

Materials from fireplaces and barbecues should be disposed of in non-flammable containers.

Never put your youngster to bed in their “day” clothing. Sleepwear that is fire-resistant can make a difference in the severity of burns.

Heat Sources and Electrical Safety

Check to see if your electrical system is overworked. This may result in a fire. When you plug in extra appliances, do your lights fade or flicker? Consult a licensed electrician if you have any queries or concerns.

Examine the wires. If you notice any damaged or exposed wire from appliances, turn them off right away! A fire is about to break out!

If not utilized properly, space heaters might be deadly. Check to see if yours will turn off automatically if it is tipped over. Check the manufacturer’s directions to be sure you’re utilizing space heaters, gas fireplaces, and other heat sources correctly. All combustible products should be kept away from heat sources! If you have little children, make sure space heaters and hot water heaters are out of reach.

Chimney fires are a common occurrence. Have your chimney cleaned and examined once a year.

When appliances are not in use, unplug them.

Getting Away from a Fire

Close the door to your bedroom while you’re sleeping. Feel the door and knob for heat before opening if you suspect there is a fire.

Have a planned meeting spot outside and an escape route for each region of the house.

Make a map that everyone in the family, including visitors, can comprehend.

When planning for a family with small children, make sure to teach them not to run away from fire or smoke and to seek help from firemen.

To escape a fire, all youngsters should be familiar with the concept of “crawling beneath the smoke.” Another safety lesson that must be instilled in children’s heads is “stop, drop, and roll.”

Multi-story structures are of particular significance. Make sure everyone knows how to use an escape ladder if one is needed.

In the case of a fire, make sure each sleeping room has two exits. A secondary means of escape is through the use of windows. Ensure that they are in good functioning order, that they are not painted shut, and that the guards can be released in the event of a fire and the need to escape by that window.

Everyone must realize that once you’ve escaped a burning building, you must never return–no matter what you’ve left behind.

From a neighbor’s house, dial 911 for emergency help.

Make sure you rehearse your escape strategy on a regular basis. In the event of an emergency, it will be easier to recall.

Young children should be aware of their street address as well as their surname (and, of course, how to dial 911).

Don’t forget about the pets after you’ve planned for the family. Make sure firefighters are aware of your pets. Do not rely on decals on windows or doors to warn firemen; these markings are frequently found to be outdated. If your pet has inhaled smoke, take him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.