Read these nine facts about fire to stay informed about fire safety.
1. When learning facts about fire, it's important to understand the fire triangle. The triangle represents the three components that fires need to exist: heat, oxygen and fuel. If one of these components is missing, a fire can’t ignite. Heat can be generated by a cigarette, an electrical current or a home heater.
Fuel can be anything combustible, such as wood, paper, clothing, furniture, gases or chemicals. Once a fire starts, if any of the three components is removed, the fire is extinguished. Water is used to cool a fire and take away the heat source. Oxygen can be removed by smothering a fire with dirt, sand or a blanket.
Fuel can be removed by moving combustible materials away from the fire or by simply waiting until the fire consumes the material and goes out of its own accord.
2. Facts about fire deaths: Every year more than 3,800 people die fire related deaths in the U.S. Approximately 18,300 people are injured every year in fires. Most of these fires could have been prevented by practicing proper fire safety and having fire alarms.
3. One of the more interesting facts about fire is that most house fires start in the kitchen. Cooking is the leading cause of home fire injuries. Cooking fires often start from overheated grease and unattended cooking. Electric stoves are involved in more fires than gas ones.
4. Another fact about fire is that smoking is the primary cause of death by fire in the U.S. The second cause of fire deaths is heating equipment.
5. Arson is the third most common cause of home fires. Arson in commercially operated buildings is the major reason for fire deaths and injuries in those types of properties.
5. Facts about fire show that more people die from smoke inhalation than flames. Fire can suck all of the oxygen from a room and fill it with poisonous smoke and gases before flames even reach a room. Many times people die from lack of oxygen before the fire reaches their room.
6. Firefighters in the U.S. were called out on 362,500 house fires in 2009, which caused 12,650 injuries, 2,565 fatalities and $7.6 billion in property damage.
7. Another of the interesting facts about fire is that candles caused approximately 12,900 home fires and 140 home fire deaths between 2005 and 2009.They were also responsible for 1,040 injuries and $471 million in property damage.
8. Facts about fire support the importance of having working smoke alarms in your house. Approximately two-thirds of all fire deaths happen in homes where there’s no working fire alarm. Your chance of dying in a home fire is cut in half if you have a working smoke alarm.
Home Fire Safety Fact Sheet (pdf)