Recognizing Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13

Fire Prevention Week is observed in the United States and Canada, during the week (from Sunday to Saturday) in which October 9 occurs. Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire. In 1911, on the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA); the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.

NFPA has been the official sponsor of this campaign since 1922, making it the first and longest running public health and safety observance on record.

FIRE PREVENTION WEEK “HAVE 2 WAYS OUT” …


Palatine Fire Department Flashover and Sprinkler Room Demonstration last year. The demonstration shows how fast a fire spreads in less than two minutes. The fire flashover occurs in about three minutes. Compare the difference with a sprinkler system.

Palatine Fire Department had their open house last week, but Arlington Heights Fire Department will hold their open house Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in recognition of Fire Prevention Week.

HOME FIRES
One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010.

Most fatal fires kill one or two people. In 2010, 19 home fires killed five or more people. These 19 fires resulted in 101 deaths.

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

COOKING LEADING CAUSE OF FIRES SINCE 1990
Cooking has been the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries since 1990. Unattended cooking was by far the leading cause of these fires; Two-thirds of home cooking fires began with ignition of cooking materials, including food, cooking oil, fat, or grease.

Cooking caused two of every five (42%) of reported home fires, roughly one of every seven (15% ) home fire deaths, and two of every five (37% ) home fire injuries, and 11% of direct property damage from home fires in 2010.

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.

90% of burns associated with cooking equipment resulted from contact with hot equipment or some other non-fire source.

HEATING — SECOND LEADING CAUSE SINCE 1990
Heating equipment was the leading cause of reported home fires in the 1980s and has generally ranked second since them. It is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Fires involving heating equipment peak in December, January and February, as do deaths from these fires.

The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.

Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (79%) home heating deaths.

Half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.

SMOKING MATERIALS
In 2010, smoking materials started and estimated 17,500 home structure fires, resulting in 540 deaths, 1,320 injuries and $535 million in direct property damage. Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.

Sleep was a factor in two of every five home smoking material fire deaths. Possible alcohol impairment was reported in one quarter of these deaths.

In recent years, Canada and the United States have required that all cigarettes sold must be “fire safe,” that is have reduced ignition strength and less likely to start fires.

ELECTRICAL FIRES
Half (49%) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Other leading types of equipment were washer or dryer, fan, portable or stationary space heater, air conditioning equipment, water heater and range.

In 2010, electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in an estimated 46,500 home structure fires resulting in 420 deaths, 1,520 injuries and $1.5 billion in property damage.

CANDLES
On average, there are 35 home candle fires reported per day.

More than one-third of these fires started in the bedroom.

More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

In 2010, candles caused 3% of home fires, 4% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries and 5% of direct property damage from home fires.

SOURCE NFPA