Through our work at CPSC, we encounter many tragedies. We see injuries and deaths due to lacerations, poisonings, drownings, strangulations, blunt trauma, and other causes. Incidents involving children are the most heart-breaking and continue to motivate me, my fellow commissioners, and the staff to make the home a safer place for every American, young and old.
More lives are lost and more homes are destroyed by fire than any other hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 2,755 were killed last year in home fires, 83% of all fire deaths. On average, eight lives are lost every day from home fires. At CPSC, we listen to the loved ones of fire victims and often hear them say, “if only.” “If only the smoke detector had a battery. If only we had a plan to get out alive.”
Along with our friends at NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), we want to encourage Americans to be vigilant about preventing fires in the home. This week is Fire Prevention Week, and I want to encourage families to have working smoke alarms and to practice an escape plan that includes educating children about smart ways to handle dangerous situations with fire. Doing these things will save many lives.