This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape; Plan and Practice Your Escape!” works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.


In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out. Plan ahead for your escape. Make your home escape plan and practice today.


How do you define a hero? Is it…a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at personal risk?

A hero can be all of those things. A hero can also be…someone who takes small, but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, maybe you’re already a hero in your household or community. If not, maybe you’re feeling inspired to become one. It’s easy to take that first step – make your home escape plan!


  • Cooking is tied for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to these fires. Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  • Ranges, or cooktops accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 13 percent.
  • More than half of all cooking fire injuries occurred when people tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was a failure to clean. This usually involved creosote buildup in chimneys.
  • Most home heating fire deaths (84%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.
  • Nearly half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January, and February.
  • On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires per day.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
  • Smoking has been the leading cause of home fire deaths for decades.
  • Heating Equipment was involved in one of every five home fire deaths.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead. Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%).
  • According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
  • While 71 percent of American have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47 percent of them have practiced it.

90 Years of Fire Prevention Week: Lessons from History


Additional Resources