Time change means its time to check smoke detector
Published 8:27 pm Saturday, April 2, 2005
WASHINGTON D.C. - Nearly 4,000 people die each year in fires at home, according to a new study released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's U.S. Fire Administration.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response and FEMA's Director, called the special report, Fatal Fires, "alarming."
Smoke alarms when present need to be tested frequently and batteries need replacing every six months.
And it's time to do some spring cleaning on your alarm to make sure it works when you need it most," Brown said.
According to the New FEMA report, structure fires accounted for 74 percent of the 3,000 fatal fires in 2002. Of those fatal structure fires, 94 percent occurred in residences.
Arson was the leading cause of fatal residential structure fires at 22 percent, followed closely by smoking at 21 percent.
There were 3,380 fire-related deaths in 2002, down slightly from other years.
The report summarized some of the major characteristics of fatal fires and is based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System.