Thursday, June 14 2012
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) announces the release of two special reports focusing on the causes and characteristics of fires in one- and two-family and multifamily residential buildings. The reports One- and Two-Family Residential Building Fires (2008-2010) (PDF, 316 Kb) and Multifamily Residential Building Fires (2008-2010) (PDF, 286 Kb), were developed by USFA’s National Fire Data Center.
Residential Building Fire Estimates
The reports are part of the Topical Fire Report Series and are based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for 2008 to 2010. According to the reports, cooking is the leading cause of both one- and two-family and multifamily residential buildings fires, followed by heating. Fire incidence in both types of residential properties peaks during winter months partially as a result of increases in heating and holiday-related fires. In addition, fires peak over the evening dinner hours in one- and two-family and multifamily residences when cooking fires are prevalent.
Topical reports explore facets of the United States fire problem as depicted through data collected in NFIRS. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. Also included are recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report or that put the report topic in context.
For further information regarding other topical reports or any programs and training available at the USFA, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.
Wednesday, December 07 2011
Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires resulted in 21 deaths and 43 injuries.
Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles, and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home. Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by decorations or trees. Help ensure that you have a fire safe holiday season.
What’s a traditional Christmas morning scene without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person’s suggestion – “Keep the tree watered.”
Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be.
Selecting a Tree for the Holidays
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
Monday, October 17 2011
Kitchen fires are eminently preventable. Here’s how to stay safe now and during the holidays when you really put your oven and stove through their paces.
I was troubled to see so many kitchen fires crowding the news today — especially since Sunday begins Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 9-15).
2. Never leave the kitchen — even for a short time — when food is frying, grilling, or broiling. Don’t leave the house if food is simmering, baking, or roasting.
3. Use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
4. Clear away from stovetops anything that can catch fire, like cloth and paper towels, oven mitts, and wooden spoons.
How to put out a kitchen fire
1. Get out of the kitchen. Close the door behind you when you leave to help prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of your house.
2. When you reach safety, call 911 or your local emergency number.
3. Make sure others are out of the house and you have an escape route before you try to fight the fire.
4. Smother a grease fire by sliding a pot lit over the pan. Then, turn off the stove. Don’t remove the lid until the pan is cool.
5. If your oven catches fire, turn it off and keep the door closed.