The Mission of Plainfield Fire Department

To provide those services, either proactive or emergency, necessary to protect and enhance the quality of life for the residents and visitors to Plainfield Charter Township.

Executive Summary

Fire

Fires can be furious and deadly. Each year, more than 600 children ages 14 and under die, and nearly 47,000 are injured, in fires. Despite a dramatic 56 percent decline in the fire death rate since 1988, fires remain a leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children in the United States.

But there are time-tested ways to prevent fire-related injuries. Simply installing smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area, for instance, cuts the chances of dying in a home fire in half. Keeping matches, lighters and other heat sources out of children's reach can help eliminate child-play fires - the leading cause of fire-related death for children 5 and under.

Preparation and education are key elements of preventing fire tragedies. Planning and practicing a fire escape route with your family, and talking to your children about what to expect in a fire, are simple steps anyone can take. A prepared child is more likely to escape unharmed.

Why Kids Are at Risk

Picture a fire from a child's point of view: smoke and flames suddenly sweep through his room. It is dark, hot, loud and scary. A large stranger comes in, wearing equipment that makes him look like a monster or an alien - or worse. Children's first instincts are often to hide from things that frighten them. But in the case of a fire, those instincts can be deadly.

Kids are at grave risk of injury and death from residential fires because they have less control of their environment than adults and limited ability to react appropriately. More than 40 percent of residential fire-related deaths among children ages 9 and under occur when the child is attempting to escape, is unable to act or is acting irrationally. Although an escape plan may help to reduce these deaths, only 26 percent of households have developed and practiced a plan.

The youngest children are at greatest risk. Kids ages 5 and under are more than twice as likely to die in a fire as the rest of the population. More than half of the children in this age group who die are asleep at the time of the fire, and another one-third of them are too young to react appropriately.

Older kids are often at risk due to their own curiosity. Studies indicate that an estimated 38 percent of children ages 6 to 14 have played with fire at least once. Child-play home fires tend to begin in a bedroom where children are left alone. Nearly 80 percent of these are started by children playing with matches or lighters. Boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to play with fire.


Other Risk Factors

  • Children in homes without working smoke alarms are at the greatest risk. Households without working smoke alarms are approximately two and a half times more likely to have a fire in their homes.

  • Home cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires and fire-related injuries. However, residential fires caused by smoking materials (i.e. cigarettes) are the leading cause of fire-related death, accounting for nearly 23 percent of all fatalities.

  • Home fires and fire-related deaths are more likely to occur during the cold weather months, December through February, when there is a significant rise in the use of portable or area heating equipment such as fireplaces, space heaters and wood stoves.

  • Children living in rural areas have a dramatically higher risk of dying in a residential fire. Death rates in rural communities are more than two times higher than in large cities, and more than three times higher than in large towns and small cities.


 

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