Fires in the home take a great toll on life and property each year. During the five-year-period from 2005-2009, NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 373,900 reported home structure fires per year. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,650 civilian deaths, 12,890 civilian injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage per year. Smoking materials remain the leading cause of home fire deaths, while cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries.
Installing systems such as smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers, as well as identifying potential hazards, can reduce the risk of home fires and property loss, injury, or death due to fire. Nearly two-thirds of home structure fire deaths occur in homes where there was no smoke alarm, or where smoke alarms were present but failed to operate.
NFPA has taken the lead in public fire safety outreach by serving as the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for 89 years. The annual public awareness and safety commemoration, which is proclaimed by the President of the United States each year, is observed by fire departments in the U.S. and Canada to mark the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
Visit the Fire Prevention Week website for safety tips, statistical information, and more. The materials are available for use by fire departments, teachers, families and anyone interested in learning or teaching about fire safety.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.