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USFA releases residential building fire report

May 2, 2012

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Emmitsburg, MD – From 2008 to 2010, fire departments responded to approximately 365,500 fires in residential buildings that caused an estimated 2,560 deaths, 13,000 injuries and $7.4 billion in property loss, according to a report (.pdf file) released April 26 by the U.S. Fire Administration.

Cooking was the leading cause of fire in residential buildings, and most fires occurred in the early evening and during cooler months (peaking in January), the report stated.

In related news, 70 percent of surveyed homeowners reported their houses were fully equipped with working smoke alarms, but full coverage was observed only in roughly 41 percent of these homes, indicates results of a study conducted by the John Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy in Baltimore.

Most of the homeowners who overreported smoke alarm coverage assumed smoke alarms were working because they were mounted, or they failed to realize that working alarms must be present in attics and basements, according to the study abstract.

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