A fire in your home can be a devastating ordeal, exposing you and your family to smoke and the risk of serious burn injuries and destroying property that will be very costly to repair. Fortunately, there are some preventive measures you can take to lower the risk of a fire in your home and help you quickly contain a fire that breaks out.
Our Cincinnati burn injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are committed to helping you pursue justice and the compensation you deserve in the event of a burn injury caused by another’s negligence.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today.
Residential Fire Statistics
To give you a better idea of how often fires occur, particularly in residential areas, here are some statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration:
- There were 1,319,500 fires in 2017.
- Approximately 3,400 fatalities resulted from fires in 2017.
- Fires resulted in 14,670 injuries in 2017 and property loss totaling $23 billion.
In residential buildings, the most common causes of fires in 2016 included:
- Cooking – 50.3 percent of all fires
- Heating – 9.6 percent of all fires
- Carelessness – 6.6 percent of all fires
- Electrical malfunction – 6.5 percent of all fires
Of the 1,800 fatal fires that occurred in residential buildings in 2016:
- 17.5 percent were caused by carelessness or were unintentional
- 14.2 percent were caused by smoking
- 9.7 percent were intentionally set
- 9.6 percent resulted from electrical malfunction
- 6.6 percent were caused by cooking
Making A Fire Plan
Every family should have an escape plan in the event of a fire. This escape plan should be practiced twice per year, so everyone knows where to go and how to exit the home safely. Children also need to be taught not to hide from firefighters if they need to enter your home.
Your fire plan should include two ways to exit each room in the home in case one exit is blocked by smoke or fire. Secondary routes from upper levels may require collapsible ladders.
Throughout the year, you should regularly check windows to ensure they are easily accessible in the event of a fire. Make sure windows and window locks are not stuck so they can be easily opened and ensure that safety bars and screens can be removed quickly.
Equipping Your Home For Fire Safety
Homes need to be equipped with proper devices to warn of fires and put them out.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, inside and outside of sleeping areas. Batteries must be tested monthly and replaced once per year. Smoke alarm units should be replaced every eight to ten years.
- Fire extinguishers should be located in the kitchen, and in other rooms with appliances.
Reduce The Risk Of A Fire
Work to prevent fires in your home by reducing fire risks around the house.
- Never disable smoke detectors while cooking.
- Always stay in the kitchen when you are using the stove.
- Do not wear loose clothing when cooking.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove.
- Grills should be placed at least 10 feet away from the exterior of your home, and never under a house’s eaves or tree branches.
- Make sure all wiring is undamaged. Replace old or damaged cords immediately. If you notice a cord is damaged, stop using the appliance or device until it is repaired.
- Do not run cords under furniture or rugs
- If switches cause lights to flicker or are hot when you touch them, stop using them immediately and have them replaced by a professional.
- Do not smoke inside the home.
- Safely dispose of cigarette butts and ashes by soaking them in water before throwing out.
- Never smoke in bed or in a home where oxygen is used.
- When using space heaters, keep any flammable or combustible objects three feet away from the heater.
- Use portable heaters with safety controls, such as an automatic shutoff switch if the unit tips over.
- Clean and inspect fireplaces and woodstove chimneys each year.
- Use a fire screen to prevent logs from rolling out of your fireplace.
- Never leave a fire lit when going to bed.
Contact Our Lawyers For Help After A Burn Injury
If you or someone you love has sustained a burn injury caused by negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Cincinnati burn injury lawyers are here to help.
Request a free, no obligation consultation and learn about your legal options. We charge no upfront fees and payment is only owed if we recover compensation for you.