The Hartford Names Richmond Among 100 Cities With Highest Home Fire Risk, Pledges Support

The Hartford brings Junior Fire Marshal® program to the city and donates a total of $20,000 to the school district and fire department for fire safety education

HARTFORD, Conn.--()--According to The Hartford's Home Fire Index, Richmond, Va. ranks No. 5 among the 100 U.S. cities with the highest home fire risk. The Index is based on an analysis of the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)¹ and a survey conducted by The Hartford on fire safety and prevention behaviors among the general population.

A home fire is reported in the U.S. every 86 seconds and 33 percent of home fires are started by children 6-9 years old.² As part of the 70th anniversary of The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal program, which is one of the country’s oldest corporate-sponsored public education programs, The Hartford is donating a total of $20,000 to the Richmond public school district and fire department for fire safety education. The donation is part of a larger commitment the company made to all the cities on The Hartford's Home Fire Index.

In addition, to the monetary donation, The Hartford will also distribute Junior Fire Marshal educational materials to children in kindergarten through third grade in the Richmond public school district. The Hartford Junior Fire Marshal classroom kit comes with The Hartford’s signature red fire helmets, an educator and parent guide and coloring posters designed to introduce fire safety concepts to children.

“The Junior Fire Marshal program is part of The Hartford’s ongoing commitment to help build safer communities,” said Debora Raymond, spokesperson for The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal program. “We are pleased to be able to bring this program to the city of Richmond and empower the next generation of children to take an active role in reducing the fire risk in their homes.”

In Richmond, lightning, cooking and electrical fires are the leading causes of home fires according to The Hartford’s claims data.³ Forty-five percent of home fires in Richmond were caused by lightning, 11 percent by cooking followed by 10 percent by electrical fires.

Many Richmond residents engage in behaviors that can increase the risk of a home fire according to The Hartford survey. Charging a phone overnight is considered moderate risk, yet charging a phone overnight on your bed, leaving your kitchen with the stove on, or leaving a room with a candle burning are considered high risk. The survey found:

  • 40 percent admitted they had charged a device (e.g., cell phone, tablet, laptop) in or on their bed overnight in the past year – compared with 34 percent nationally.
  • 56 percent said that in the past year, they have left the kitchen while cooking something on a stove – compared with 58 percent nationally.
  • 41 percent revealed that they have left a room with a candle lit at least once over the past year – compared with 37 percent nationally.

The Hartford to Host Junior Fire Marshal Day at Miles Jones Elementary School

The Hartford will host a hands-on fire safety day for students in grades kindergarten through third in partnership with the Richmond fire department and Miles Jones Elementary School. This includes a simulated fire and smoke demonstration in The Hartford Fire Safety House, an opportunity to meet local firefighters, tour their fire truck and try on gear. The event will take place at Miles Jones Elementary School on Thursday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT.

The History of the Junior Fire Marshal Program

The Junior Fire Marshal program was started in 1947 by an employee of The Hartford. Since the program’s inception, The Hartford has deputized more than 110 million Junior Fire Marshals.

The company’s signature red fire helmets have been displayed proudly by generations of children who have learned the basics of fire safety through this innovative and educational program. The program teaches lifesaving lessons such as Stop, Drop and Roll, Go Low in Smoke and Draw a Home Fire Escape Plan. These lessons, along with other fun, engaging and educational activities, help parents and teachers have meaningful and vital fire safety conversations with children and students.

Over the years, celebrities such as Ron Howard, Dick Van Dyke, Jack Benny, Jimmy Dean, Mr. Green Jeans and Captain Kangaroo, Carol Channing, Red Skelton, Johnny Carson, Robert Young, Henry "the Fonz" Winkler and Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have helped The Hartford recognize children who participated in the Junior Fire Marshal program.

For more information about The Hartford’s Home Fire Index and Junior Fire Marshal Program, visit

1NFIRS is a voluntary reporting system run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency based on data submitted by fire departments from around the country. The data was standardized based on population size and adjusted as needed to reflect the voluntary nature of the data within the system.

2According to the National Fire Protection Association

3 Based on an analysis of The Hartford claims data in the city of Richmond between 2010 and 2016

About The Hartford Home Fire Index

The Hartford Home Fire Index is based on a study of the largest U.S. cities with a minimum of 80,000 housing units as reported by the 2010 U.S. Census. The Hartford calculated a rate of residential fires using the number of residential structure fires from the 2014 National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data, dividing by 2010 U.S. Census housing units. The Hartford also conducted a survey on fire safety and prevention behaviors among the general population in late 2016 and in early 2017. Survey respondents (approximately 100 per city) were given a score based on adoption of fire safety best practices. Standardized fire rates and survey scores were averaged to produce a composite score for each city.

About The Hartford

The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at Follow us on Twitter at

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries under the brand name, The Hartford, and is headquartered in Hartford, Conn. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice.


Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-Q, and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.

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The Hartford
Debora Raymond, 860-547-4611
Leon Davis, 860-547-8668

Release Summary

According to The Hartford's Home Fire Index, Richmond, Va. ranks No. 5 among the 100 U.S. cities with the highest home fire risk.


The Hartford
Debora Raymond, 860-547-4611
Leon Davis, 860-547-8668