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U.S. Fire Administration Seeks a Safer 'Home Fire Season'
Date:11/9/2008

Fatal Home Fires jumped nearly 68% during cooler months

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- "Home fire season" starts now, and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is working to make this year's cold months safer than last years -- when there was a dramatic increase in home fire deaths. According to the USFA, during the "home fire season" of October 2007 to March 2008, there was a 68% increase in the number of fatal home fires and a 67% increase in the number of people killed in home fires, compared to the warmer months.

Not including arson-related deaths, from April 2007 through September 2007 at least 589 people were killed in home fires. When it became cooler, from October 2007 through March 2008, at least 982 people were killed in home fires.

Through its Smoking & Home Fires Campaign, the USFA wants to make this season safer, especially as it relates to the number one cause of preventable home fire deaths in the nation -- fires caused by smoking materials.

"Every year, about 1,000 people are killed in smoking-related home fires," says U.S. Fire Administrator Gregory B. Cade. "Smokers tend to smoke inside their homes more often because it's cooler outside, so what's important to remember is that smoking home fires can easily be prevented." He added, "It just takes a few seconds to light up -- and a few seconds to make sure that cigarette is really out."

During this time of the year, the use of holiday lighting, ornamental candles and space heaters also raises the risk of home fires.

Here's what you can do to prevent a smoking home fire:

-- If you feel you must smoke, it's better to smoke outside.

-- Inside the home, use big ashtrays with a stable base.

-- Really put the cigarette out, don't just tap it into the ashtray.

-- It's not a good idea to smoke if you are drowsy, and never smoke in

bed.

-- If people smoke while at your home, check for cigarette butts near
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SOURCE U.S. Fire Administration
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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