Facts and Prevention for House Fires

Do you know who to call if this happens?

At Milestone Building Group, we take Orange County house fires very seriously. We genuinely care about Orange County residents and their families, and do everything we can to prevent you from ever having to call us. But disasters do happen, and in case of a fire in your home, we want you to know where to go from there. 

And that’s why we’re recognizing National Fire Prevention Week. We hope you think fire prevention is important, like we do! There are few things more devastating than losing your home to a fire. It’s terrible to experience the pain of losing treasured photographs, mementos, family heirlooms, and other personal items, and even moreso if the fire causes injury or death. Sadly, many of our customers have had to face this situation, and we never get used to seeing it.

Here are some facts about house fires from the NFPA that will hopefully motivate you to come up with an emergency plan for you and your family.

Home Fires:

  • One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010.
  • Most fatal fires kill one or two people. In 2010, 19 home fires killed five or more people. These 19 fires resulted in 101 deaths.
  • In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

Escape Planning

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half actually practiced it.
  • One-third of Americans households who made an escape plan thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!

Smoke Alarms

  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 92% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 77%  of the time.


  • Half  (49%) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Other leading types of equipment were washer or dryer, fan, portable or stationary space heater, air conditioning equipment, water heater, and stove range.
  • In 2010, electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in an estimated 46,500 home structure fires resulting in 420 deaths, 1,520 injuries and $1.5 billion in property damage.

Home Fire Sprinklers

  • Automatic fire sprinkler systems cut the risk of dying in a home fire by about 83%.
  • Home fire sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
  • Sprinklers are highly effective because they react so quickly in a fire. They reduce the risk of death or injury from a fire because they dramatically reduce the heat, flames and smoke produced, allowing people time to evacuate the home.

Don’t you think that spending one hour or less with your family every six months reviewing this information, creating an escape plan and practicing it is worth a family members’ life? We certainly do! If you do experience a fire at your Orange County home or business, please call us immediately after you call the emergency services. The sooner we’re on hand to survey the damage and get in to start restoration, the better off you’ll be.

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