When disaster strikes, Rainbow International® is there to help put the pieces back together. Our fire restoration services help you recover from disaster with the least amount of personal impact possible.
But while the fire is still blazing, firefighters are the ones to respond first. They help mitigate fire damage and protect people from harm, whether the disaster is natural or man-made. Now is a good time to celebrate those firefighters who work tirelessly to stop disasters from destroying buildings and claiming lives.
How Many Fires Occur Each Year?
According to the US Fire Administration, more than 1.2 million fires broke out in the United States in 2013. While this number seems high, it’s a 22 percent decline from the nearly 1.6 million fires in 2004. A combination of good fire safety habits and safer heating and cooking equipment can be thanked for steadily declining numbers.
What Causes Fires?
The US Fire Administration estimates that nearly 50 percent of fires that occur in American homes are caused by cooking. This is also the reason for fire in 30 percent of blazes that start in nonresidential buildings. Heating is the next most common cause, contributing to 13 percent of house fires and nine percent of nonresidential building fires. Other common causes of fire include electrical malfunctions, open flames, appliances, smoking and arson.
Where Do Fires Cause the Most Damage?
The National Fire Protection Association reports that firefighters respond to an average of 357,000 house fires per year, representing 75 percent of all structural fires. House fires are the leading property type for civilian fire deaths (92 percent), civilian fire injuries (86 percent) and direct property damage (70 percent). On average, seven people perish in US house fires every day, proving the importance of fire prevention methods, smoke detectors, evacuation plans and fast-acting fire departments.
Who Should You Thank?
The NFPA states that as of 2014, more than 1.1 million firefighters protect homes, businesses and forests across the United States. Nearly 800,000 (69 percent) of these firefighters are volunteer workers while 350,000 (31 percent) are career firefighters. A vast majority of volunteer firefighters (95 percent) work in departments that protect fewer than 25,000 people, while most career firefighters (70 percent) work in communities larger than 25,000 people.
This means the majority of men and women who work in the fire service industry do so because they have a vested interest in their community – not because they get paid. This passionate sense of duty gives volunteer firefighters a level of enthusiasm and zeal rarely seen in other professions.
Why Should You Thank Firefighters?
Firefighters regularly sacrifice time with their families on holidays, free time on weekends, and their warm beds on cold nights to go fight fires when a call comes in. The sacrifices volunteer firefighters make are the most substantial because they’re willing to do all this without pay or benefits.
Due to the dangerous nature of the work, a tragic number of firefighters are killed on the job. The US Fire Administration reports that 91 firefighters (consisting of 56 volunteers, 30 career firefighters and five wildland agency workers) were killed on duty in 2014. However, only 25 of these brave men and women were killed performing activities at the scene of a fire. The rest died of heart attacks (65 percent), from activities related to other emergency incidents (46 percent), in car accidents traveling to or from the scene (14 percent), and performing training activities (1 percent).
The NFPA also points out that more than 63,000 firefighter injuries were reported in 2014, 27,000 of which occurred at the scene of a fire. Contrary to what you might imagine, strains, sprains and other overexertion injuries – not burns – account for the majority (53 percent) of firefighter injuries. In addition to injuries, firefighters can also be harmed by exposure to infectious diseases – such as hepatitis, meningitis and HIV – and hazardous materials – such as asbestos, chemicals and radioactive materials.
If your life was spared and your home saved by firefighters, be sure to show your gratitude! Then schedule restoration services from Rainbow International for help getting your home and life back on track.