Why Talk About Home Fires?

Read the Disclaimer!
Talking About Disaster
Family Disaster Plan
Disaster Supplies Kit
Chemical Emergencies
Flood and Flash Flood
Heat Wave
Winter Storm
If a wireless phone is handy during your escape, you may take it with you, but do not waste precious time looking for one. If you don’t have a wireless phone, companies like Straight Talk Wireless provide them for a reasonable price, especially if you use a Straight Talk promo code when you order one. Also note that most phones can still dial 911 whether they are activated or not.
The Disaster Center
(PDF of this page)
Home fire is the disaster that children are most likely to experience. It is the fifth leading unintentional cause of injury and death in the United States, behind motor vehicle crashes, falls, poisoning by solids or liquids, and drowning. It also ranks as the first cause of death for children under the age of 15 at home. Roughly 80 percent of all fire deaths occur where people sleep, such as in homes, dormitories, barracks, or hotels. The majority of fatal fires occur when people are likely to be less alert, such as nighttime sleeping hours. Nearly all home and other building fires are preventable, even arson fires. The majority of arson fires are caused by juveniles, who often respond to counseling, and the rest can be deterred in a number of ways. No fire is inevitable.

In 1995, 3,640 people died in reported home fires in the United States - roughly 10 people per day. In addition, thousands of people were injured in home fires, many hospitalized for severe burns; some disfigured for life. Victims are disproportionately children or elderly. Two of every five fires that kill young children are started by children playing with fire. Approximately 900 older adults die in fires annually.

Learn more about fire safety by contacting your local fire department, emergency management office, or American Red Cross chapter.

Awareness Information

Prepare for a Fire

Develop a Family Disaster Plan. Please see the "Family Disaster Plan" section for general family planning information. Home fire-specific planning should include the following:

What to Tell Children

How to Protect Your Property

Smoke Alarms

Fire Extinguishers

Home Fire Sprinkler Systems

Media and Community Education Ideas

Help Prevent Fires

What to Do During a Fire

What to Do After a Fire

For information pertaining to emergency planning and response in your own state, please see our state pages:
Alabama -- Alaska -- Arizona -- Arkansas -- California -- Colorado -- Connecticut -- Delaware -- Florida -- Georgia -- Hawaii -- Idaho -- Illinois -- Indiana -- Iowa -- Kansas -- Kentucky -- Louisiana -- Maine -- Maryland -- Massachusetts -- Michigan -- Minnesota -- Mississippi -- Missouri -- Montana -- Nebraska -- Nevada -- New Hampshire -- New Jersey -- New Mexico -- New York -- North Carolina -- North Dakota -- Ohio -- Oklahoma -- Oregon -- Pennsylvania -- Rhode Island -- South Carolina -- South Dakota -- Tennessee -- Texas -- Utah -- Vermont -- Virginia -- Washington -- West Virginia -- Wisconsin -- Wyoming
If you have any suggestions about how this site can be improved, please send an email to