El Dorado County Fire Safe Council

The mission of EI Dorado County Fire Safe Council is to protect the people of EI Dorado County and their property from the effects of catastrophic wildfire through education, cooperation, innovation and action.

CDF News Release – Fire Kills 3925!


CONTACT: Teri Mizuhara
Fire Prevention Spec. II
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 5, 2004


Fire Kills 3925!

Camino – Fire killed 3925 people in 2003, more than all natural disasters combined. Fire caused over 12 billion dollars in property damage in 2003, again more than all natural disasters combined. Tragically most people underestimate the danger of fires in and around their homes.

In a survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 96% of residents have smoke alarms in their home which is a new all time high for the United States. Unfortunately 20% of these alarms do not work. Of the 80% that do work, only 8% of residents reacted to the smoke alarm sounding by exiting their home immediately. In a house fire seconds count and literally may be the difference between life and death. The United States looses an average of one child under the age of five every day of the year to fire.

One of the biggest challenges facing fire departments today is getting people to react to a smoke alarm. Preplanning is critical, especially for families. In the NFPA study only 25% of residents have an exit drill in place and practice it regularly. As your smoke alarms are screeching at three in the morning, your home is filling with deadly smoke, how would you get out?

The Amador-El Dorado Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has a few questions you should really think about:

  •  Do you stand up and run or do you crawl low under the smoke?
  •  How can you tell if there is fire outside your bedroom door?
  •  How will you find your way out in the middle of the night? Do you have a flashlight by each bed?
  •  What about a telephone? Is it wise to stop and call 911 before you have exited the house?
  •  What about 2 or 3 story homes? Apartments? Mobile homes? Manufactured homes?
  •  If you are a caretaker of elderly or disabled adults, what are your plans?
  •  If you have children too young to exit on their own what are you going to do?
  •  What about pets?
  •  Where is your meeting place?
  •  Can the fire department find your home? Is it properly addressed? Can you see it at night in a rain or snow storm?
  •  How many smoke alarms does a home need? Where should they be placed? What about fire extinguishers?
  •  Smoke alarms have a life span, when did you last replace yours?

Make sure you and every family member knows and practices two ways out of every room in your home. Have a meeting place and make sure everyone knows where it is, including visiting friends and family.

For more information contact your local fire station. Don’t put this on the back burner and forget about it. Your life and the lives of those you love may depend on it.

Don’t become a statistic, practice fire safety daily. 

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