Did you know? FIRE is America’s Biggest Disaster

The biggest disaster threat in the United States isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes; it’s fire.

Yes, FIRE!

As an insurance agent, I am often the second person that the homeowner calls, after “911.” It’s incredibly sad to stand on the front lawn and witness first-hand the destruction of property.

“In the majority of fires causing death, there was no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm,” says Lorraine Carli. Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy at the National Fire Protection Agency: “The biggest things people can do are to make sure they have smoke alarms in their homes and to develop and practice home escape plans. You have as little as two minutes to get out.

Home fires

  • 60% of home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Roughly one of every 320 households had a reported home fire per year.
  • A fire is reported in the United States every 85 seconds.


  • 40% of home fires started in the kitchen.
  • Unattended cooking was a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires.


  • The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean.
  • Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in one-third (33%) of home heating fires and four out of five (81%) home heating deaths.

Smoking Materials

  • Most deaths in home smoking-material fires were caused by fires that started in bedrooms (40%) or living rooms, family rooms or dens (35%).
  • Possible alcohol impairment was a factor in one in five (19%) of home smoking fire deaths.


  • About half (48%) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Other leading types of equipment were washer or dryer, fan, portable or stationary space heater, air conditioning equipment water heater and range.


  • More than one-third of these fires (36%) started in the bedroom;
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% of the home candle fires and 37% of the associated deaths.

Smoke Alarms

  • 60% of home fire deaths are caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time.
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.

Wallin Insurance teams up with the American Red Cross to install FREE SMOKE ALARMS

As an insurance agency we wanted to do something to help this community. We chose the project “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign” where we evaluate and install smoke alarms in area homes. We also educate homeowners on having an escape plan in the event of a fire.

If we can make a difference to just one homeowner, we will feel good about our service to the community.

Since the summer of 2015 the agents and staff at Wallin Insurance have installed more than 300 smoke alarms in 100 homes in Chemung County. We are the only trained and certified volunteers performing this service. WE WERE RECENTLY HONORED WITH THE RED CROSS “GOOD NEIGHBOR” AWARD.

For more information or if you’d like your home to be evaluated contact me, Peter Wallin at 607–734–8799 or Peter@WallinInsurance.com. We normally perform installations on Thursdays.