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Choking Kills Twice as Many Americans as Fires, but We’re Better Prepared for Fires

March 18, 2019

choking prevention

If you need proof the groundbreaking Dechoker device should be in every home, business, and first aid kit to prevent choking deaths, look no further than another lethal threat: house fires.

The thought of a home going up in flames is a terrifying one for everyone, and for good reason. An estimated 2,560 people die in house fires in the United States each year, according to the latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). As tragic as that number is, the number of people who die from choking each year in the U.S. is nearly double that amount, topping 5,000 according to National Safety Council statistics.

A False Sense of Preparedness

Given the fact that nearly twice as many people die from choking than in house fires, you would think most would be prepared for a choking emergency. However, that is unfortunately not the case.

The reality is Americans are significantly better prepared for fires than choking. Surveys by the NFPA have placed the number of homes with smoke alarms as high as 96 percent, and an estimated 78 percent of Americans say they know how to use a fire extinguisher. When it comes to first aid skills, however, only about 54 percent know CPR and just 44 percent own a first aid kit. What if choking happens at work? An American Heart Association survey found just 41 percent of workers polled were never trained in first aid, CPR, or automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

United Kingdom Statistics

The lack of choking preparedness is not isolated to the U.S. In the United Kingdom, where the Dechoker has already saved dozens of lives, a push is now underway to include first aid training as part of the school curriculum. This came about after new research there showed 95 percent of adults would not be able to save lives in first aid emergencies including choking.

We Can Learn From the Past

It might surprise you to learn smoke alarms were not adapted for widespread residential use in the U.S. until the 1970s, and were not required in newly constructed homes until the late 1980s. Like with many technologies, public acceptance took time. Today, it is estimated the existence of smoke alarms has cut the risk of dying in a fire by half.

We have to start taking choking risks just as seriously. The truth is choking deaths are preventable. Does your family or workplace have a fire emergency plan? Smoke alarm? Fire extinguisher? AED? It makes sense to include the Dechoker as part of that preparedness plan.

The good news is Dechoker is easy to operate and can be used on anyone 12 months old and up. To learn more and shop now, click here.


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