MAYWOOD, IL – When daylight savings ends on Sunday, November 5, use the extra hour you gain to check the smoke detectors in your home, says Art Sanford, MD, a Loyola Medicine burn surgeon.
"Fires often occur at night while people are sleeping and most vulnerable," Dr. Sanford said. "Nearly half of all fires start in the bedroom or family room and the kitchen rounds out the top three. Those are the areas to prioritize when installing smoke detectors."
In 2016, more than 475,500 fires, 2,950 deaths, 12,775 injuries and $7.9 billion in property damage were reported by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Cooking equipment, smoking materials and home heating devices such as space heaters are the top causes of home fires.
Dr. Sanford and Loyola's Burn Center treat hundreds of children and adults yearly due to burn injuries in Illinois' largest burn center. A regional leader in burn care, Loyola's outstanding success rates and multidisciplinary approach are recognized by the American College of Surgeons and American Burn Association.
"As you “fall back,” take the time to change smoke detector batteries and replace broken smoke detectors," said Dr. Sanford. "Three out of five home fire deaths occur because no smoke detectors were present or the fire alarm did not operate."