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House Fire Deaths Are On the Rise

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, deaths caused by residential fires have been on the rise for several years. In 2011, 2,400 people died in house fires and almost 14,000 were injured. According to that agency, residents of Iowa have a risk of dying in a house fire comparable to the national average. Residential fires do not just destroy property, they take lives.  

Our firm represents individuals and families who suffer loss in house fires through injury or property damage. According to an analysis of fires by the U.S. Fire Agency between 2009 and 2011, factors of residential fires include: 

  • Not surprisingly, fatal residential fires occur most frequently in early morning hours, when residents are most deeply asleep and unaware of smoldering dangers. Materials like candles, space heaters, and cigarettes take time to generate smoke and fire, leading to early morning fatalities.
  • The United States has a high rate of death from residential fires, for an industrialized country.
  • Residential fires rise during winter months and generally peak in January.
  • Unintentional or careless actions are the leading cause of residential fires in this country. Those actions include leaving flammable materials smoldering, misuse of a product to heat a house or placement of flammable materials too close to a heat source. Smoking and electrical malfunction are also leading causes of residential fire. 

The Iowa State Fire Marshall offers information for keeping your house safe and creating an escape plan in case of a residential fire. If hazards cannot be avoided and you suffer injury or loss in a house fire, speak to experienced legal counsel in Des Moines.

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