FEMA: 3 South Central States in Top 10 for Fire Danger

Numbers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration show that three states – Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana – in FEMA Region 6 are among the top ten in the nation when it comes to the fire death rate.

Statistics from 2007 list the national average as 13.2 deaths per million population. Arkansas ranks third with 26 deaths per million population; Oklahoma ranks fifth with 24.9 deaths per million population; Louisiana ranks seventh with 23.8 deaths per million population.

Also, as part of the launch of a new fire safety public awareness campaign by FEMA and the National Commission on Children and Disasters, the U.S. Fire Administration has released a new report on the risks that fires pose to children.

The report is based on the latest available data released by the National Center for Health Statistics. It found that young children face the greatest risk of death or serious injury in home fires, with 52 percent of all child fire deaths in 2007 involving children under the age of four. This is a slight increase from the most recent study conducted in 2004.

“We urge families to learn about the possible dangers posed by fires in the home,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Russell. “Parents should also take simple steps – such as having working fire detectors and fire extinguishers in their homes – to prevent fires from cooking, heating and other causes.”

In an effort to educate the public about fire danger, FEMA Region 6 distributes Fire Safety and Prevention grants to groups in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. From 2007 to 2009, for grants that focused on children, groups in Region 6 states had a total budget of $2,241,903, with a federal share of $2,090,312.

Source: FEMA