Where’s Your Fire Extinguisher? What Do You Mean You Don’t Have One!?

Sometimes it takes the obvious to get people to do things they need to do. So You might be reading this post and thinking “Of course we have a fire extinguisher in our house! Why do I need some blogger to tell me something that’s common sense? Does he have nothing else to blog about?”

Well if you happen to be someone who already has a fire extinguisher at home then you don’t really need to read this except for the interesting facts that you probably didn’t know and the really crazy short video clips below on how quickly a fire spreads. But if you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your house then get one!

According to stats provided by both the U.S. Fire Administration and a UK government agency, a majority of fire related deaths occurs at home. For the US the figure is around 80%. Here are some other facts provided by the National Safety Council :

  • The leading cause of fire deaths is careless smoking (U.S. Fire Administration)
  • Having a working smoke detector more than doubles one’s chances of surviving a fire (U.S. Fire Administration)
  • 3,675 people died in fires in the United States in 2005 – one person every 143 minutes. While the number of fires increased in 2005 over 2004, the number of deaths decreased 5.8 percent. (National Fire Protection Association).
  • In 2005, 106 firefighters died in the line of duty in the United States – down from 117 in 2004 (U.S. Fire Administration)
  • Adults 65 and older are more than twice as likely to die in fires as the overall population. (U.S. Fire Administration study)
  • People born in 2003 have a 1-in-1,100 lifetime odds of dying due to exposure to smoke, fire or flame. Odds in any given year are 1:86,000. (National Safety Council)
  • According to a report published by the American Red Cross:

    Fires kill more Americans each year than all natural disasters combined….four out of five Americans are unaware that fires are the most common disaster in the U.S. and only 26 percent of households have a home fire escape plan.

    According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association), home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room of the home, and the leading cause of home cooking fires is unattended cooking.

    So where should you keep your fire extinguisher? Well the National Safety Council recommends that ever family should have an all purpose fire extinguisher in their kitchens. My only problem with this recommendation is what if the fire is in the kitchen and you cant get to the fire extinguisher. I actually read somewhere that its also a good idea to have an extinguisher in another part of the house for this very reason. Regardless, having one in the kitchen is better than not having one at all.

    Also, while you are thinking about getting a fire extingiusher consider having a fire escape plan as well. Know your exits. According the the American Red Cross, you should have at least two escape routes for every room in the house. Check out the American Red Cross page for more information on developing a fire escape plan.

    When purchasing a fire extinguisher make sure you know how to use it and check it regularly. You should be able to buy a fire extinguisher at Wal-Mart, Target, or Home Depot.

    A room can go up in flames in just seconds.

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