New Survey Finds that Fire is Parents’ Top Home Safety Concern

American parents worry more about fire than any other potential danger in the home, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Home Safety Council. And with good reason.

It's time to fall back for fire safety!

  • 8 ways to measure how fire-safe your household really is

  • Could your child be playing with fire? Learn the signs
  • Fire is the third-leading cause of injury-related death in the home, according to past council research. Yet only 19 percent of homes regularly test smoke alarms. Among homes with kids, only 54 percent of families have discussed a home fire escape plan.

    The council’s survey polled 1,000 parents nationwide last year on their top household safety concerns. Forty percent named fire as the biggest worry, followed by falls in or around the home (22 percent); break-ins (20 percent); and kids getting into potentially toxic medicines or household cleaners (8 percent). Ironically, nearly half of the parents surveyed had not tested their smoke alarms to see if the sound would wake their sleeping children.

    “People have only a few short moments to escape if a fire strikes at home,” council President Meri-K Appy states. “Yet the research reveals that most Americans fail to appreciate how quickly a home fire becomes deadly. Every home needs protection with working smoke alarms on each level, as well as a well-rehearsed fire escape plan so families are prepared to act quickly should a fire occur.”


    It’s Fire Safety Month

    Because October is National Fire Safety Month, the council is offering free fire safety materials online, including information on buying, installing and testing smoke alarms; the benefits of fire sprinklers; and tips on planning and practicing a family fire drill. Research has shown that people usually have less than three minutes to escape a home fire, so smoke alarms and a well-rehearsed fire escape plan are crucial.

    The Home Safety Council is a national nonprofit group dedicated to preventing home-related injuries. To read and download the council’s fire safety materials, visit