Since I just often talk about electricity and safety a couple in my articles, I want to highlight that this is the month of the annual Fire Prevention Week which took place October 6-12, 2013. Their goal is to raise public awareness with this year’s theme being “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” to emphasize that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home, and to teach people how to keep cooking fires from starting in the first place.
Here are some interesting facts about home fires:
- In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage.
- On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
- Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
- Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.
- Unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Ranges accounted for the 58% of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
- Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.
- Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. Nearly half (44%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 were scald burns.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.
I encourage everyone to take the time to talk about these causes with everyone in their families. All of these accidents can be avoided through education and proper use. You can find additional information at http://www.esfi.org/ and learn about fire safety.
As always, thanks for reading,
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com