Residential fires are often associated with a loss of property and injuries caused to those inside and around the residence at the time of the fire. According to the Center for Disease control, deaths from fires and burns make up the third leading cause of death in the home. Most fires occur during the winter months, and over 1/3 of those fires occur in homes where there is no smoke detector or a faulty smoke detector.
Younger children and the elderly are particularly at risk because of the dangers of smoke inhalation. In a home surrounded by flammable fabrics or products, a house can become choked with smoke very quickly, leaving little time for escape. Cooking appliances are at the top of the list for causes of residential fires, particularly if the cooking equipment is defective.
Another at-risk group for residential fires are those who live in low-income housing. In these situations, failure to comply with building codes can result in deadly house fires for families. Previous research has demonstrated that low-income families are as much as 8 times more likely to suffer injuries as a result of a residential fire. Part of this is due to increased environmental hazards, including improperly installed or operation electrical and heating mechanisms. If the fire and injuries are related to failure to comply with the city ordinance building codes, families suffer because of someone else’s failure to maintain safe living conditions.