Thanks to a series of government funded programs, most people now know a good deal about fire safety and prevention. In fact, the term “stop, drop and roll” is now a part of the American lexicon. But despite all the efforts to educate the populace about fire dangers, fires remain a serious threat to Americans.
The statistics on fire deaths and injuries are pretty sobering. Deaths from fire and burns are the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States and they are the third leading cause of fatal home injury. The United States also still ranks seventh among the 25 developed countries in fire deaths despite all of the country’s efforts to make its citizens wary of fire and the associated dangers to read this post.
Death and Injuries from Fires
Most people that die from fire related deaths die from smoke inhalation rather than burning. This might account for the high level of deaths as most people now how to avoid fire burns, but do not realize the extreme importance of not inhaling smoke. People should avoid being near large fires because of deadly gases, lung failure from smoke and permanent scarring of the lungs.
Burns can occur on the inside as well as the outside of the body. When a victim is evaluated at the hospital, the level of his or her condition is based on outside and inside burns. The burning of internal organs is a much more likely to result in death than outside burns. After a person survives the initial stage of a serious burn, they are still at great risk of death because of possible infection.
How Fires Occur
The leading cause of fires in homes in the United States is smoking. Smokers should only smoke outside the house and always dispose of cigarettes in an appropriate receptacle that prevents any smolders from escaping. Other causes of fires in homes include:
Cooking appliances which are left on or improperly cleaned and updated
Candles which are left burning and unattended. Candles are particularly dangerous when children are living in the house
Matches or lighters that are left around the home
Faulty electrical appliances that can cause sparks and electrical fires
To prevent fires, every house should be equipped with the a number of smoke alarms on every level of the home and a fire escape plan should be made and posted so that every member of the house is aware of what to do in the case of a fire.