On average in the U.S., fire injures someone every 31 minutes and is a leading cause of accidental death. Fires on college campuses can be expected to take ten lives each year. Most of that loss starts with accidents — in cooking or smoking, or overloaded circuits and extension cords. Furthermore, most fire casualties turned to fatalities indirectly: three times as many from inhaling smoke and toxic vapors than from burns.
Fires should be preventable. Apathy and abuse of smoke detectors and fire alarms increase the risk. If you know how to recognize hazards and how to reduce them, you will increase your chances of protecting yourself and those around you.