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Know the facts!

There were an estimated 1,319,500 fires across the United States in 2017, a 2 percent decrease from 2016. Of those fires, 379,000 were residential structural fires, an increase of about 7,500 from 2016.

Over 260,000 of those first occurred in one- and two-family homes, amounting to 53 percent of all reported structural fires.

The reported home structure fires caused 2,630 civilian deaths in 2017, which is a 4 percent decrease from 2016. This number includes 2,290 deaths of one- and two-family homes, which accounts for 67 percent of all civilian fire deaths.

There were also 7,470 reported injuries occurring in one- and two-family homes, part of an overall decrease in fire-related injuries.

All the fires occurring in 2017 resulted in $23 billion in property damage, a significant increase compared to 2016, which was mainly due to the wildfires in Northern California. Of the $23 billion, $6.1 billion was lost from fires in one- and two-family homes, a 25-percent increase from 2016.

Fire safety initiatives remain key to preventing fires and their resulting damage and fatalities. Homeowners should keep fire safety education in mind in the event of a fire, such as looking for at least two exits out of every room. Also, homeowners need to install and maintain smoke alarms and have a planned escape route for if a fire occurs. Make sure you have fire extinguishers on hand as well! Here is how to properly use a fire extinguisher:

Don’t let your home or family be the victim of a fire. Call Amherst Alarm at (716) 632-4600 to see what steps you can take to prevent and detect a home fire.

All statistics and information come from the September/October 2018 issue of the National Fire Prevention Association’s magazine.