home fires

Red Cross survey identifies disturbing misconceptions about home fires

Here is today's disturbing fact: forty percent of people recently surveyed believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire. 

This finding was one of many underscored by the American Red Cross in a new survey of more than 600 American adults. The results underscore a public woefully underprepared for a home fire and mistaken on the realities of these incidents. 

Per NFPA's research, seven people die every day from home fires. These frequent incidents represent the majority of the nearly 64,000 disasters that the American Red Cross responds to each year, according to a news release on the survey. About 40 percent of survey takers admitted to actions that could contribute to a home fire, including forgetting to turn off a stove or oven. Despite these facts, a small percentage think they will ever experience a home fire in their lifetime. 

Moreover, the majority of respondents believe everyone knows what to do in the event of a smoke alarm activation, but less than half have a home fire escape plan in place. Of those families that have developed a plan, only half of them practice it. (NFPA recommends practicing your escape plan twice a year.) Even more disturbing is the finding that the majority of survey takers feel they would have ample time to escape a burning home. In reality, home fires can become deadly in as little as two minutes. 

If we are to convince decision makers on the necessity of fire sprinklers in new homes, we need to first educate them on the problem. Please use these new facts from the Red Cross during your outreach efforts.  

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