This site was created in cooperation with the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee, and is supported by funding from the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), every 18 seconds, a Fire Department is responding to a fire somewhere in the United States. Public Fire Departments attended more than 1,700,000 fires in our country, of which 368,000 fires occurred in the home, resulting in 3,420 deaths, 16,975 injuries and more than $5.5 billion dollars in direct property damage.
Smoking materials were the leading cause of civilian deaths accounting for roughly one-fourth of the total. Nationwide, there was a civilian fire injury every 23 minutes. The good news is that civilian fire deaths have decreased by 34 percent from 1980 where there were 5,200 deaths in home house fires. Half of all home fire deaths resulted from fires that were reported between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Although children five and under comprise about 9 percent of the country’s population, they account for 17 percent of the home fire deaths, assigning a risk twice the national average. Adults 65 years of age and older also face a higher risk, while people aged 85 and older have a risk that is almost 4½ times more than average.
The Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council urges all residents of the Greater Kansas City Area to be “Fire Safe” by checking your smoke detectors and fire safety escape plans on a monthly basis. Make your children aware of the consequences of fire and teach them how to react when an emergency takes place. Assist any elderly family members and neighbors who may need assistance. Please contact your local Fire Department if you have any other questions.
Floyd Peoples, Chief Fire Marshal, Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department, 816-784-9100
Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council, 9550 W. 95th St., Overland Park, Kan. 66212