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Fire is one of the most dangerous things to children. They often end up trapped and helpless when fires break out in their home, and young children make up a disproportionate number of fire-related deaths. In addition, the allure of fire often leads kids to play with matches or lighters, and they end up starting the fire that kills them. Here are some alarming facts every family should know:

1. There are around 380,000 residential structure fires each year.

2. Between 500 and 700 childre..n lose their lives annually in house fires

4. Having smoke detectors in your home cut your chances of dying in a fire in half.

5. Ionization smoke detectors are present in 90% of U.S. homes. Yet photo-electric detectors sense smoke better, catching fires that ionization smoke detectors don’t. Up to a third of the more than 3,000 people a year who dies in fires might have escaped if they had a photoelectric smoke detector. Newer models have both types of sensors. Which ones are in your house?

6. The leading cause of fire-related death is smoke inhalation.

7. Nearly 1,000 people die every year in residential fires caused by a careless smoker.

What Causes Fires

1. Smokers are responsible for around 1,000 fire deaths in the United States each year. (Andrew Seaman, “States push fire-safe cigarettes by passing their own legislation.” USA Today, 1-2-08, p. lA)

3. Children playing with fire account for about 25 of every 1000 fires

3. Candles are responsible for around 18,000 home fires every year. (National Fire Protection Association)

4. Household grills cause around 1,000 structural fires and 3,400 outdoor fires each year. (National Fire Protection Association)

More than just statistics . . .

* Children left unattended start fatal house fire

A fire that was started by kids playing with matches, raced through a three story row house, killing 5 children, who ranged in ages from three to seven. …

* Child playing with matches dies
Fire investigators believe that little John Rex Caesar was playing with a lighter. Thirty-one people were living in the house, and were all left homeless ..


1) U.S. Fire Administration
2) U.S. Fire Administration “Children & Fire in the US.” 1994 – 1997
3) U.S. Fire Administration “Children & Fire in the US.” 1994 – 1997
4) U.S. Fire Administration
5) Joseph Fleming, Deputy Chief of Boston Fire Department & Smoke detector specialist
6) U.S. Fire Administration
7) U.S. Fire Administration; Seaman, Andrew, “States push fire-safe cigarettes by passing their own legislation,” USA Today, 1-2-08, p. 1A
8) Andrew Seaman, “States push fire-safe cigarettes by passing their own legislation.” USA Today, 1-2-08, p. lA
9) National Fire Protection Association
10) National Fire Protection Association


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