What do we know?

  • Most fire fatalities occur at night.
  • In most cases, fire fatalities occur in homes that were not protected by an operating smoke alarm.
  • In fatal fires, where the fire is contained to one room and the victim is found in that room, the victim was very close to or part of the fire itself. In other words, in adult cases, the victim has most likely been smoking in bed or on a couch and falls asleep. In the case of a child, the victim or a sibling was playing with fire.
  • Fire fatalities that occur in the middle of the day indicate that the victim was either impaired or was in close proximity to the fire’s point of origin. Remember, impairment can be nothing more than a sleeping person, or can be caused by alcohol or drugs, legal or illegal. Other impairments may be due to physical or mental handicaps.
  • Though fire is impartial in whom it affects, those most vulnerable to being overcome by fire or smoke are the elderly and small children.
  • Some fatal fire victims have also been the victims of a crime, in which the perpetrator is attempting to cover up another crime with the fire.

These are just a few things that are found to be common in most fatal fire situations. It is vitally important that when fire fatalities occur that we do everything possible to learn all that we can from each and every fatal fire. The problem is that most people are reluctant to share all of the facts about a fire that may make their deceased family member look bad. My desire is to use anything and everything, within reason, to hopefully prevent another fire fatality from occurring.

Fire prevention is the first aspect of protecting yourself from becoming a statistic. Since most fires are classified as accidental in nature, they become the accepted norm in our society. Sure, I have seen some fires, with sad circumstances, that get more publicity than others, but it doesn’t last long. Most fires can be prevented; we just have to take the steps to do so. If a fire is going to occur, then we must be prepared. Means of preparation are safety devices such as smoke alarms and sprinkler systems, as well as educating your family on what to do when a fire occurs.

I have never accepted a fire fatality as something that could not have been prevented. I am a passionate educator of the public, when it comes to fire safety. You must keep it in front of people all of the time. I use fires that occur around the world, as well as those that occur around the corner, to help in the education process. For those fires that occur close to me, I am sometimes considered impassionate or uncaring for the things I write or say. The point is I cannot get emotionally attached, if my desire is to keep this from ever happening again. Trust me, I care.  

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