Approximately 80% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home


Before the House Fire   


As little as 2 minutes…     

Today’s homes burn faster than ever! Experts say you may have a little as two minutes (or even less) to safely escape a typical home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight wood construction, all contribute to the increased rate at which home fires burn. 

Home is the place people feel safest from fire, but it’s the place they’re at greatest risk. Approximately 80% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home; an average of seven people die in home fires every day. It is important for residents to install and maintain smoke detectors and have a home escape plan.  

Smoke Detector Statistics 

      > Smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74 percent) of reported home fires in 2014–2018

   > Almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent). 

   > The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55 percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked. 

     > When present, hardwired smoke alarms operated in 94 percent of the fires considered large enough to trigger a smoke alarm. Battery-powered alarms operated 82 percent of the time. Power source issues were the most common factors when smoke alarms failed to operate.

  > People who were fatally injured in home fires with working smoke alarms were more likely to have been in the  area of origin and involved in the ignition, to have a disability, to be at least 65 years old, to have acted  irrationally, or to have tried to fight the fire themselves. These victims were less likely to have been sleeping than those who died in fires in properties without working smoke alarms.  

*Source - NFPA - Smoke Alarms in US Home Fires Marty Ahrens February 2021 

    San Bernardino County Fire frequently partners with multiple agencies to assist with home safety education and resources to increase safety inside private homes. One of the programs is the Red Cross Hot Shots program where smoke detectors are supplied, free of charge. Residents can contact their local fire headquarters to get assistance.

For more information visit:  or can call 909-387-5974 for assistance.  


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