Fire Prevention

Fire Safety Topics


Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned

Testing the water before putting a child in the bath may sound like common sense. Wearing short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking on the stovetop may show foresight. This and other simple actions may be all it takes to prevent devastating burns.

Fire Prevention Week 2009 focuses on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires.

Fire Facts

  • In 2008, U.S. fire departments responded to 386,500 home fires. These fires killed 2,755 civilians. Eighty-three percent of all fire deaths resulted from home fires.
  • Someone was injured in a home fire every 40 minutes and roughly eight people died in home fires every day during 2008.
  • A fire department responded to a home fire every 81 seconds.
  • Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths in 2003-2006 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • About 1/3 of home fires and deaths happened in the months of December, January and February.
  • Cooking continues to be the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
  • Smoking materials caused one of every four home fire deaths.
  • The kitchen is the leading area of origin for home fires. However, bedrooms and living/family rooms are the leading areas of origin for home fire deaths.


  • Burn injuries result in hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits a year. Thermal burns outnumber scalds nearly two-to-one.


Cooking Fire Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, accounting for 40% of reported home fires and 36% of related injuries.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires. 
  • U.S. fire departments responded to 146,400 home structure fires involving cooking equipment in 2005. These fires caused 480 civilian fire deaths, 4,690 civilian fire injuries and $876 million in direct property damage. 
  • Twelve percent of the fires occurred when something that could catch fire was too close to the equipment.


Smoking & Home Fires

  • Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths (roughly one in four) in the United States.
  • There were 142,900 smoking-material fires in the United States in 2006, causing 780 civilian deaths and 1,600 civilian injuries.
  • Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from smoking-material fires even though they are less likely to smoke than younger adults.
  • The most common items first ignited in home smoking-material fire deaths were upholstered furniture and mattresses or bedding.
  • One out of four victims of fatal smoking-related fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.


Fireplaces and Home Safety

Home Heating Fire Safety - Check your hotspots!

  • In 2006, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 64,100 reported home structure fires, 540 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $943 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2006 heating equipment fires accounted for 16% of all reported home fires (second behind cooking) and 21% of home fire deaths.
  • More than half of all heating related fire deaths in 2003-2006 resulted from fires in December, January, and February.
  • Space heaters result in far more fires and losses than central heating devices and have higher risks relative to usage.
  • Fixed or portable space heaters were involved in 4% of the home fires and 17% of the home fire deaths.
  • Most of the space heater fires were caused by the space heater being too close to things that could burn.


  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 25,100 reported home structure fires in 2006. These fires caused 370 deaths.
  • Lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs accounted for 5,500 home structure fires per year, during 2003-2006.
  • Wiring switches or outlets caused more than 10,000 home fire structures per year.  Cord or plugs accounted for 2,600. Cords and plugs accounted for 1% of the home fires and 5% of home fire deaths. 

Intentional Fires

  • In 2003-2006 17,900 intentionally set home structures fires were reported each year, resulting in 320 deaths and $542 million in property loss.
  • Roughly half of the people arrested for arson are under age 18.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms - What You Need to Know

  • Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half.
  • A 2008 U.S. telephone survey found that 96% of U.S. households had at least one smoke alarm, yet in 2003-2006, no smoke alarms were present or none operated in two out of the five (41%) of the reported home fires.
  • Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths in 2003-2006 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • No smoke alarms were present in 40% of the home fire deaths. 
  • In more than half of the reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, batteries were missing or disconnected. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.

 Home Escape Planning 

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one in four Americans have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan (PDF, 632 KB)  to ensure they could escape quickly and safely.
  • While 66% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 35% of those have practiced it.
  • One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!
  • Eighteen to 24-year-olds are the least likely to have even developed an escape plan.
“Reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week Web site, ©2009 NFPA.”

Other Fire Safety Links:

Wildfire... Are You Prepared?

Home Fire Sprinklers

Fire Safety Lasts a Lifetime

Of course, if you have any questions regarding fire prevention, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Our friends at the US Fire Administration also have some helpful hints/tips.  Please take time to visit the website below by clicking on the logo and be sure to browse the different fire safety topics and download the materials.
U.S. Fire Administration


Oct 10 – According to the United States Fire Academy (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) candles caused an estimated 17,200 reported structure fires, 200 civilian deaths, 1,540 civilian injuries, and $200 million in estimated direct property damage in the U.S. Candle Fire Tragedies The following information was released by the USFA in …

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Cooking Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  In 2005, cooking equipment was involved in 146,400 reported home structure fires, the largest share for any major cause. These fires resulted in 480 civilian deaths, 4,690 civilian injuries, and $876 million in direct property …

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Electrical Fires

Oct 9 – According to the United State Fire Academy (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “Electrical fires and electrical failures or malfunctions result in an average of 53,600 home fires each year. These fires cause more than 500 deaths, injure 1,400 people and account for $1.4 billion in property damage.*” The USFA …

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Heating Fires

October 7 – With winter just around the corner, it is important in emphasize fire safety when it comes to heating your home.  According to the Nationa Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February, and trails only cooking equipment in home …

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Home Heating Fire Safety

As fuel prices continue to soar, many Americans, including local residents, have sought out cheaper alternatives or supplemental devices to heat their home.  This movement has generated serious concern in the among fire departments nationwide. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) estimates that nearly 1/3 of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances …

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July 4th Fireworks Safety

For many Americans, Indpendence Day is a time to celebrate our country by spending time with our families.  However, sometimes, those celebrations can result in tragedy. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fireworks cause an estimated 30,100 fires annually. In addition, the United States Fire Academy (USFA) estimates nearly 10,000 people are injured …

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Smoke Detectors Available for Those in Need

Monroe Fire Company has smoke detectors available to families in need across the township. Through this program, it is the Fire Company’s goal that no household in Monroe Township be without a smoke detector. If you or anyone you know is in need of a smoke detector, please contact the fire company at (717)-258-1884.  You …

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October 8th – For years health professionals have warned against the dangers of smoking, including death.  Now it is the fire service’s turn.  Fires caused by smoking materials kill more people than any other fire.  Period. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “smoking materials; such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc., are the leading …

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