Illinois Residential Fire Deaths Increased in 2014

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residential fire sprinklersBartlett, IL -- Illinois had 104 civilian residential fire deaths in 2014, up 9% from 2013.  In 2015, Illinois has already seen 8 fire-related deaths.

"Our state continues to average 100 civilian fire deaths each year, but the reality is that fire sprinklers can prevent these needless deaths," said Bartlett Fire Protection Assistant Chief Mike Figolah.  "A fire sprinkler puts water on a fire while it is still small, which keeps it from spreading and allows residents to safely escape."

According to studies done by the Underwriters Laboratories and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, new homes have more unique fire hazards than older homes.  The lightweight materials - engineered floor systems, synthetic insulation, foam sheathing, and double-glazed windows - allow fire to spread faster.  Additionally, the contents of the home are flammable and produce toxic smoke.

"Ninety-two percent of structural fire deaths occur in homes where people believe they are safest.  Yet when a home is built without fire sprinklers, countless generations lose out on the best fire protection available," says Figolah.

At this time, 100 Illinois communities require fire sprinklers in new construction homes, but thousands of homes are built without them.  

Figolah closes with, "Our goal is to educate the public about fire sprinklers so they know fire sprinklers are an option in homes and they understand the life and property saving benefits fire sprinklers provide.  In doing so, we can begin reducing the lives lost to fire in Illinois."