Home fire is the disaster that children are most likely to
experience. It is the fifth leading unintentional cause of
injury and death in the United States, behind motor vehicle crashes,
falls, poisoning by solids or liquids, and drowning. It also ranks
as the first cause of death for children under the age of 15 at
home. Roughly 80% of all fire deaths occur where people
sleep, such as in homes, dormitories, barracks, or hotels. The
majority of fatal fires occur when people are likely to be less
alert, such as nighttime sleeping hours. Nearly all home and other
building fires are preventable, even arson fires. The majority of
arson fires are caused by juveniles, who often respond to
counseling, and the rest can be deterred in a number of ways. No
fire is inevitable.
In 1995, 3,640 people died in reported home fires in the
United States - roughly 10 people per day. In addition,
thousands of people were injured in home fires, many hospitalized
for severe burns; some disfigured for life. Victims are
disproportionately children or elderly. Two of every five fires that
kill young children are started by children playing with fire.
Approximately 900 older adults die in fires annually.
Fire is the fifth leading unintentional cause of injury and death in the United States. It also ranks as the first cause of death for children under the age of 15 at home.
Learn more about fire safety by contacting the
Department, your local fire department, the
Brownsville Office of
Emergency Management, your local emergency management office, or
American Red Cross chapter.