Risky Assumptions and BehaviorThe highest risk factor in fire deaths and injuries is a person’s decision to fight the fire and the assumption that one’s own fire risk is negligible. Many people are not educated about how a fire behaves, how fast it spreads, and how hot the fire can become in a matter of minutes. With the additional concern of property damage, many people attempt to put out a fire and become trapped when the fire gets out of control. Even with the use of prevention strategies such as smoke alarms, if a person doesn’t evacuate the building as soon as possible (i.e. stays to fight the fire), their risk of injury and death increases dramatically.
Many people also feel that their own risk of having a fire is extremely slim. However, a belief that your house or home is indestructible will not help once a fire has started and no precautions have been taken. The leading reason for households without smoke alarms was that the residents did not believe they needed a smoke alarm since they would never have a fire. Even today, smoke alarm programs need to confirm that their target audience sees fire as a real threat and therefore understands the need for smoke alarms.