- Smoking has been the leading cause of home fire deaths for decades.
- Cooking is the leading case of home fires and the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
- Three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without a functional smoke alarm.
- Older adults are among the likeliest victims to die in home fires.
- Sprinklers have been shown to lower the fire death rate by 81%.
Smoke Alarm Safety:
Smoke alarms are widely available and affordable. However, there are some years that Pennsylvania leads the nation in fire-related deaths.
Smoke alarms save lives; it's just that simple. At least one of these life-saving devices should be installed on each floor of your home. To reduce false alarms, a smoke alarm should be installed at least ten feet away from the kitchen.
Additionally, they should be tested monthly and batteries changed every six months. Click here
for more information.
Home Escape Planning:
Your entire family should be involved in making and practicing a home escape plan. It is important for all family members to be able to recognize two ways out of each room, such as windows and doors.
Choose an outside meeting place, like a neighbor's house, a street light or a mailbox.
Emergency numbers should be saved in cell phones or memorized. Alert the authorities once you are safely outside.
Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building. Click here
for more information.
Recovery After a House Fire:
It is always important to listen to your local authorities following a major event like a house fire. Never try to re-enter a fire-damaged home until it has been declared safe to do so.
Taking care of your family often starts with reaching out to your local disaster relief service. This may include organizations like the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. They can help you find food, clothing, shelter and medical treatment.
If you have pets, they are likely scared. Handle them carefully and calmly. Try to leave your pets with a family member, friend or veterinarian if you are visiting or cleaning your damaged home. Additional information about making special emergency preparations for your pets is available from the PA State Animal Response Team
Now is the time to contact your insurance company. Ask them what your next steps ought to be, and about the immediate needs of your home.