Dr. Joe, burn survivor

Phoenix Society Brings Burn Survivor Voice Forward to Advocate for Fire Prevention and the Life-Saving Benefits of Fire Sprinklers

Today, fires in one- and two-family homes are more dangerous than ever, and the latest statistics prove just how frightening the situation is:

  • 1 fatality in a U.S. home fire every 3:10 hours
  • 65 percent of fire deaths are in home fires
  • 8,800 civilian injuries
  • $6.4 billion in direct property damage
  • 67 percent of firefighter injuries are the result of fighting structure fires
  • Firefighters are 11 times more likely to be injured fighting structure fires (than any other call they respond to)

Add it all up and the picture becomes clear: home fire sprinklers can and must play a key role in saving lives and reducing property loss. But it takes more than just statistics to move people to action. Behind all the data and numbers are real people whose lives have been forever changed because of a tragedy due to fire. It’s these stories that bring into view the full impact of what fire can do to an individual, his/her family and friends, and a community.

Joining Lorraine Carli this week in an interview for the HFSC 25th anniversary video series to discuss the emotional and human side to the fire story is Amy Acton, CEO of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, whose organization is committed to the sprinkler issue.

“The best treatment of a burn injury is preventing it in the first place,” says Amy, herself an advocate for fire sprinklers. “When the Phoenix Society first got involved in prevention work it made sense to bring the survivor voice forward. While data gives us the “why,” it’s the survivors and the loved ones of people who have suffered or perished in a fire who bring that “why” home in a deeper and more emotional way. We want people to understand these injuries are devastating not only physically and emotionally, but financially, too.”

The Phoenix Society works with first responders and members of the fire service, researchers, burn care professionals, burn survivors and their families, all of whom are committed to empowering the burn community by sharing their experiences and stories with us. Amy and Lorraine both agree that burn survivors have been instrumental in advocating for the need for home fire sprinklers to prevent home fire tragedies from happening to others.

“Burn survivors learn early on about perseverance,” Amy continues. “I think we bring a lot of perseverance to this effort. Survivors feel a sense of purpose from their experience; they’re committed to working on prevention with others. Together we can move the needle forward on change.”

Listen to this engaging interview with Amy and Lorraine to learn more the Phoenix Society, its work with burn survivors, and their support of HFSC:

 In the past few years, the Phoenix Society and NFPA have collaborated on many important initiatives that speak to the personal side of fire. Learn more about them:

  • Faces of Fire campaign, which features stories of people impacted by fire and demonstrates the need for home fire sprinklers.
  • Faces of Fire/electrical campaign, which shares stories of people impacted by electrical incidents and demonstrates the need for continued education and awareness about electrical hazards both on the job and at home.
  • The Survivors, a multi-part podcast series that takes an extensive look at a Wyoming family who experienced the unthinkable when a home fire killed two of their children.

Please join NFPA, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and the Phoenix Society in advancing this important life safety message. Free materials about the benefits of home fire sprinklers are available to download and use> for outreach efforts. Visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website for more

If you missed any of the previous interviews, find the full 25th anniversary video series on HFSC’s website.  

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LisaMarie Sinatra
Communications Manager, Public Affairs Office

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