In Case of Emergency

In case of emergency dial 911.


Fires are the third leading cause of accidental injury in the home.

According to FEMA, an estimated 236,200 fires in one- and two-family homes were reported in the United States each year (2009-2011). Those fires caused an estimated 1,980 deaths, 8,525 injuries, 5.5 billion dollars in property loss, and accounted for 65 percent of all residential building fires annually.

Cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home. House fires are more frequent in the cooler months.


The Source

The five biggest threats for fire in the home are:

  1. Cooking – especially on the stovetop. Do not leave the stovetop unattended while cooking.
  2. Heating – give portable space heaters 3 feet of space all the way around. If using logs in the fireplace, inspect and clean the chimney annually.
  3. Smoking – smoke outside and away from furniture.
  4. Electrical – deteriorating electrical cords can fray and spark. Check cords to make sure they are in good shape and replace them as needed. Old wiring shoud be updated. Do not overload circuits.
  5. Candles – Consider using battery-operated candles. If not, monitor and remain in the room while candles are burning.


Who is at Risk?

Fires put all household occupants at risk. Small children, the elderly and the diabled are at increased risk due to limitations on their ability to escape a house fire.

Health Impacts

Structure fires kill. Those that are lucky to survive my be harmed by burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, exposure to other toxic fumes, trips, and falls.



Exit Drills In The Home (EDITH) can help prepare for emergency. When there is a fire in the home, the family that has practiced and is prepared is more likely to survive unharmed. There are four simple steps to preparation.

  1. Prepare a fire escape plan.
  2. Install and maintain smoke detectors.
  3. Practice exit drills in the home regularly. Children should practice too!
  4. Examine your home for fire hazards and take steps to prevent a fire before it occurs.

The Healthy Homes Coalition recommends one hard-wired or 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm inside and outside of each sleeping room, and one alarm on each floor of the home, including the basement. Test the alarms once a month and install new ones at least every ten years.


Did You Know...

Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2005-2009 resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.


Fire Safety Tips(684 KB)

From Safe Kids Worldwide

Lifting Parent Voices, The COFI Way

Every second Monday of the month at 5pm, the conference room at the Healthy Homes Coalition fills up with parents. They file in, greet each other warmly and find their usual seats.

Over a quick dinner, weekly stories are swapped and pictures are shared as parents catch up. Parents for Healthy Homes meetings are part support group, part advocacy work, part leadership training class, and all parent connection.

The leadership training component is a result of our relationship with Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), a nonprofit organization based out of Chicago which connects parents to one another, helping turn their voices in actionable change.  COFI was created in 1995, with former community organizer Barack Obama as a founding member.


Why Parent Voices Matter More

Two stories featuring parents who are fighting to end childhood lead poisoned were told in local news this past week.

These two stories represent the voices of parents whose children are directly affected by the threat of lead poisoning in the community. They are just two of thousands more in the city.

Asthma: The Overlooked Housing Hazard

While efforts to fix lead paint hazards in Grand Rapids are currently in process and in the news, it’s important to remember that asthma is another major health concern for children in the city.

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