Smoking Leading Cause of Fatal Residential Building Fires: Report

“By preparing for a home fire emergency, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire casualty,” said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recently issued a special report examining the characteristics of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings. The report, “Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings,” was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center and is based on 2007 to 2009 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

According to the report:

  • Ninety-one percent of all civilian fatalities in residential building fires involve thermal burns and smoke inhalation.
  • Bedrooms (55 percent) are the leading location where civilian fire fatalities occur in residential buildings.
  • Fifty-one percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This period also accounts for 49 percent of fatal fires.
  • Seventy percent of fire victims in residential buildings were escaping (36 percent) or sleeping (34 percent) at the time of their deaths.
  • Smoking was the leading cause of fatal residential building fires.
  • Males accounted for 57 percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings; women accounted for 43 percent of the fatalities.
  • Approximately 43 percent of civilian fatalities in residential building fires are between the ages of 40 and 69.
  • Thirteen percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings were less than 10 years old.

Fires that affect our homes are often the most tragic and the most preventable. This September, as our Nation marks the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 and the eighth annual observance of National Preparedness Month, FEMA encourages all Americans to prepare for emergencies—including home fire emergencies. “By preparing for a home fire emergency, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire casualty,” said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. “Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them once a month, change the batteries at least once a year, and make and practice a home fire escape plan.”

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue