1 minute readHome Fire
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You’re More Likely to Experience a Home Fire Than These 5 Things

A mom and her son standing in their burned house after a home fire.A mom and her son standing in their burned house after a home fire.

Each year, the Red Cross responds to an average of more than 60,000 disasters, and the majority of these are home fires. Although home fires are common, many fail to realize just how common they are. In fact, in our research last year we learned that 40 percent of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire.

In 2017, the National Fire Protection Association cited that fire departments responded to a fire every 24 seconds. And according to freeby50, approximately one in 3,000 households experienced a fire in 2010. Here is a list of five things and their odds to help you put this into perspective (stats from Motley Fool). You’re less likely to:

  1. Get struck by lightning. Thankfully, the odds of this happening are about one in 1 million.
  1. Win the lottery. Even though we all have hopes of winning the lottery one day, the chances that you win the Power Ball are about one in 292,201,338 and one in 302,575,350 for the Mega Millions.
  1. Be dealt a royal flush during the opening hand in a poker game. Despite your card playing expertise, the chances of this happening are only one in 649,739.
  1. Hit a hole in one in golf. If you’re an average golf player, you have a one in 12,000 chance of doing this. We can’t all be pro golfers.
  1. Date a supermodel. If you were planning on letting go of your significant other in hopes of dating a supermodel, remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Because the odds of you dating a supermodel are one in 880,000.

So it’s time to get serious and take steps to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared in the unfortunate event of a home fire. This family in Palmetto, South Carolina is glad they did. Here are some tips to help.

a Red Cross volunteer smiling and installing a smoke alarm.

  • Remember to install the correct number of smoke alarms in your home. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Teach your little ones what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Ensure that everyone in your household knows at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and where to meet outside.
  • Establish a family emergency communications plan and make sure each member of your household knows who to contact if they cannot find one another.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must leave the house.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

For more information about how to prepare for and prevent home fires, visit redcross.org.