By now, thanks to the efforts that National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) puts in developing great statistical reports year after year, we in the fire service know that most fires and firerelated fatalities occur in homes. Take a look at the following 2007 statistics from the NFPA: "In 2007, U.S. fire departments responded to 399,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,600 civilian injuries, 2,865 civilian deaths, $7.4 billion in direct damage...
FORUM >>> Hitting Close to Home structure fires. These fires caused 13,600 tial fires by 77% and the average loss per By now, thanks to the efforts that civilian injuries, 2,865 civilian deaths, residential fire by 63%.” National Fire Protection Association $7.4 billion in direct damage…In 2007, Numerous prior reports and statis- (NFPA) puts in developing great statisti- home structure fires caused 84% of the tics also pointed out that our fire problem cal reports year after year, we in the fire civilian fire deaths and 77% of the civil- is mainly in homes. We can and must be service know that most fires and fire- ian fire injuries. Homes include one- and more proactive, and we must put a much related fatalities occur in homes. Take two-family dwellings, apartments, town- higher priority on fire prevention, if we a look at the following 2007 statistics houses, rowhouses and manufactured indeed are serious about reducing fire fa- from the NFPA: “In 2007, U.S. fire de- homes…Sprinklers decrease the fire talities and injuries. partments responded to 399,000 home death rate per 1,000 reported residen- The newest NFPA report “Character- istics of Home Fire Victims” gives us an even better look and allows us to fix our scopes on the target to have a much better shot at addressing the fire problem in our country; see http://www.nfpa.org/assets/ files//PDF/OS.HomeVictims.pdf. Here is the good news first. Based on this report, despite all of the fatalities, we are doing a much better job of protecting our public than before. The report states that “over- all, civilian fire deaths in home structure fires were down 47% in 2007, compared to 1980. The civilian fire death rate in home structure fires was down 60% in 2007, compared to 1980.” The not-so- thrilling news is that the most vulnerable high-risk population groups are the very young, the very old and the economically deprived. The report indicates: • Children under the age of 5 are almost 1.5 times as likely to die in a home fire as the general public • Adults over the age of 65 are almost 1.8 times as likely to die in a home fire as the general public • Adults over th
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