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Americans Underestimate Risk of Fire

Americans Underestimate Risk of Fire

Here’s a reminder to check that your building’s smoke and fire alarms are working.
We Americans underestimate our risk of fire, according to a survey from the National Fire Protection Association.
“Choosing from a list of disasters, 31 percent of those surveyed said they felt most at risk for tornado, while only 27 percent named fire as the highest risk, followed by hurricane (14 percent), earthquake (9 percent), flood (9 percent) and terrorist attack (5 percent),” the association stated.
But among those disasters, fires are more common and more deadly. NFPA said fire departments responded to 1.6 million fires in the United States last year. While tornadoes average 70 deaths a year, fires killed 3,925 people, most of them in the home.
The survey found that small communities, poorer households and less-educated households have lower rates of smoke alarm ownership and that only 8 percent of people whose smoke alarms went off responded as recommended – assuming there was a fire and leaving the house immediately.
NFPA says fire occurs in a structure an average of once every 61 seconds. A civilian is injured in a fire every 29 minutes, and dies in one every 134 minutes. And four out of five fatal fires occur in the place where people feel most safe: the home.
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