This edition of the Topical Fire Report Series focuses on fire risk to children. The findings from this report are: "1) The relative risk of children under age 15 dying in a fire is about the same as the general population. However, when dividing the young into subgroups, over 50% of all child fire deaths occur to those under age 5. These children are usually unable to escape from a fire independently.2) The number of fire injuries are also highest in the under age 5 bracket, decline in the middle years, but rise again in the 10--14 age group. This is a different pattern than deaths, which decrease as children age. 3) Boys are at higher risk of death from fire than girls. African American and American Indian children are at an increased risk of death from fire. 4) Children in the poorest homes face the greatest risk of death.5) Children playing is the leading cause of child fire injuries; suspicious (arson) activity is the leading cause of child deaths. One−third of arson fires are attributed to children under age 15. 6) Fire deaths and injuries have declined over the past decade--both to children and the general population. A major reason for the decline is the greater prevalence of smoke alarms. The mandatory 1994 safety standard that required disposable lighters to be child resistant has prevented thousands of fires in which children would have been at risk."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (December 2004), v.4 no.8