Fire Corps and the U.S. Fire Administration Seek a Safer “Home Fire Season”

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Fatal Home Fires jumped nearly 68 percent during cooler months

October through March is “home fire season,” and Fire Corps is working in conjunction with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to ensure this year’s cold months are safer than last years when there was a dramatic increase in home fire deaths. According to the USFA, during the 2007 “home fire season,” there was a 68 percent increase in the number of fatal home fires and a 67 percent increase in the number of people killed in home fires, compared to the warmer months.

Through its Smoking & Home Fires Campaign, the USFA wants to make this season safer, especially as it relates to the number one cause of preventable home fire deaths in the nation – fires caused by smoking materials. Fire Corps teams can use the free campaign materials to spread important safety messages to their communities. These include a CD Toolkit with English and Spanish posters, brochures, fact sheets, public service announcements, PowerPoint presentations, a smoking-home fire demonstration video, and more. Video and radio public service announcements are also available. Access these materials at www.usfa.dhs.gov/smoking.

“Every year, about 1,000 people are killed in smoking-related home fires,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Gregory B. Cade. “Smokers tend to smoke inside their homes more often because it’s cooler outside, so what’s important to remember is that smoking home fires can easily be prevented. It just takes a few seconds to light up – and a few seconds to make sure that cigarette is really out.”

Smoking-related fires can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions. Fire Corps teams can educate their community members regarding these safety measures. Smokers and those who live with smokers should ensure the following:

  • If you feel you must smoke, it’s better to smoke outside.

  • Inside the home, use big ashtrays with a stable base.

  • Really put the cigarette out, don’t just tap it into the ashtray.

  • It’s not a good idea to smoke if you are drowsy, and never smoke in bed.

  • If people smoke while at your home, check for cigarette butts near the furniture and under sofa cushions before you call it a night.

  • Douse butts and ashes with water before you toss them into the trash.

  • If you or someone in your family smokes, Put It Out. All the Way. Every Time

Learn more about the campaign and access materials your Fire Corps team can utilize at www.usfa.dhs.gov/smoking.

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