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WASHINGTON D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security's United States Fire Administration (USFA) today issued a report, part of its Topical Fire Report Series, examining the causes and characteristics of civilian fire injuries occurring in residential buildings. Nearly three-quarters of all civilian fire injuries occur in the home. In 2005, there were an estimated 13,375 civilian fire injuries resulting from an estimated 376,500 residential building fires.
Thirty-nine percent of residential building fire injuries occurred while victims were trying to control the fire. An additional 23 percent of civilians were injured when trying to escape; another 11 percent happened while victims were sleeping.
"Most civilian fire injuries are preventable," said United States Fire Administrator Greg Cade. "If a fire occurs in your home, it is important to exit your home quickly and leave firefighting to trained firefighters. By establishing and practicing a home fire escape plan, you can help reduce the chances of fire injury or even death if a fire were to occur in your home."
The report, Civilian Fire Injuries in Residential Buildings in 2005, was developed by the National Fire Data Center, part of USFA. The report is based on 2005 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).
The short topical reports are designed to explore facets of the U.S. fire problem as depicted through data collected in NFIRS. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. Also included are recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report or that put the report topic in context.
The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.