Waterville Fire-Rescue

Fire Prevention, Suppression, Inspections, Hazardous Materials and Emergency Medical Services

Founded 1809 - Protecting The Greater Waterville Area For Over 200 Years
9/11/2001 - We Will Remember!

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Interesting Facts


  • That fires kill more Americans than all other natural emergencies combined, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
  • The average U.S. citizen has a 1-in-600 chance of dying in a fire over a lifetime. The highest risk groups have one change in 65.
  • The most common activity of fire victims prior to being overcome by fire is sleeping.
  • 61% of deadly residential fires originate in either the living room, family room, or bedroom. Careless smoking was the predominant cause of those fires.
  • Heating equipment fires are the second leading cause of fire related deaths.
  • Residential fireplace and chimney fires resulted in an estimated 2,000 injuries and $142 million in direct property loss.
  • Home fires are most likely to occur between 5 and 8 PM.
  • Cooking accidents start fires that cause 22 percent of home fire injuries, but only 9% of the deaths.
  • A gallon of gasoline has the explosive potential of 30 sticks of dynamite.
  • In 1990, there were an estimated 7,200 gas fires resulting in 37 deaths, 630 injuries, and $40.8 million in property loss.
  • Gas is colorless and odorless in its natural state. It familiar odor is due to an additive used to make the dangerous gas noticeable.
  • The death rate in residential house fires in the U.S. was the same in 1988 as it was in 1930.
  • Fire death rates in rural areas are twice those of small cities.
  • Sawdust stirred up and mixed in the air can ignite and explode with enough force to blow a house wall out.
  • Young children are more than twice as likely to be killed in a fire than their parents.
  • A third of the children under age six who died in a fire had either been playing with fire or were with another child who was.
  • Napping baby-sitters have been identified as a major factor leading to fires involving unsupervised children.
  • Over 850 children under the age of 7 died as a result of fires or burn injuries in 1989.
  • Over 40% of preschool-age children who died in fires did so between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
  • The "Learn Not to Burn" curriculum is currently used in only 4% of U.S. schools.
  • The Sesame Street Fire Safety Program has been operating for over 10 years.
  • The sun can not cause a third degree burn.
  • About 15% of Caucasians have skin that never tans; it only burns.
  • 30% of the sun's rays can penetrate loose fabric like a T-shirt.
  • Water damage fighting a fire rarely exceeds the damage caused by fire and smoke.
  • Each year 100,000 fire fighters are injured in the line of duty.
  • A fire department's standard fire fighting plan is to (1) Rescue occupants, (2) Locate the fire, (3) Contain the fire, (4) Attack and Extinguish the fire, (5) Search and Extinguish hidden flames.
  • More deaths result from inhaling carbon monoxide (CO) than from any other toxic product of combustion.
  • Carbon monoxide exposure can cause headaches and redden the skin.
  • In a home fire, the second most common activity prior to being overcome by fire is attempting to escape.
  • The temperature inside a burning house ranges from 800 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • More women die from attempting to escape fire than men.
  • Professional fire departments try to leave the station within 30 to 45 seconds of receiving an alarm.
  • Approximately 65% of fire-related deaths within structure result from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases.
  • A wastebasket fire can consume an entire room in 5 minutes.
  • In July 1994, a forest fire in Colorado, which killed 14 fire fighters, moved at 650 yards in 25 seconds.
  • In a U.S. study of re-entry behavior, the most common reason to reenter a burning building was to fight the fire.
  • In 1990, there were almost 100,000 apartment fires.
  • At 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, unprotected steel may collapse under its own weight.
  • In 1992, there were 405,000 fires involving vehicles.
  • The majority of vehicle fire deaths occur in survivable crashes.
  • In the 1960's, there was an average of sixty child sleepwear related fire deaths per year. By the late 1980's that number had fallen to two.
  • Heart attacks are responsible for approximately 50% of on-duty fire fighter deaths.
  • The fatality rate for fire fighters is second only to that for miners.
  • Over 6,000 fire fighters were hospitalized for injuries in 1992.
  • There are about 300,000 professional and over 800,000 volunteer fire fighters in the U.S.