Last year was one of the safest years for firefighters in history, with 77 firefighters killed in the line of duty nationwide. Usually more than 100 firefighters are killed in the line of duty. Residential fires killed 1,896 civilians last year. Both figures are significantly lower than in previous years. That is the good news.
Your home is the most likely place that you will die as the result of a fire. Children 5 and under are the largest group of victims, and the elderly are the second largest group. By a two-to-one ratio, the mechanism of death is actually smoke inhalation and not burns.
There are many sources of fire in your home. The leading cause of fatal residential fires is smoking. The trusty range in your kitchen comes in number two as a cause of fatal residential fires. Grease and cooking oil play an important role in these fires. Then you have various other mechanisms of fire development. There is the good ol’ lint filter in your dryer, the Christmas tree lights, and of course the wood burning stove you installed to cut down on your heating bills.
Fires started by kids playing with cigarette lighters are way down, thanks to new regulations requiring lighters to be more child resistant. Yet today in America there is one house fire reported every 85 seconds. Someone dies every 2 hours and 55 minutes in a residential fire.
I can only imagine the pain and suffering of the survivors of the 77 firefighters and the 1,896 civilians who died last year. I certainly don’t want this to happen to your family, and neither do the other firefighters here in Grayson County. I am going to suggest one simple and inexpensive thing to protect your home and your precious family: smoke detectors.
I would suggest that you buy more than one, depending on the size and layout of your home. If you need help in deciding where to install smoke detectors or if you need help installing them, call your local fire department. For example, the business phone number for the Leitchfield Fire Department is 259-6376 and there is someone on duty there from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Keep your family safe.