Home Health & Fire Safety

Hoarding conditions in homes present unique health and safety risks for residents as well as visitors, including first responders.

Fire safety is of specific grave concern as accumulated items can cause fire risk when near heat sources and fire spread is significantly accelerated in time, increasing fatality risk for persons in the home.

Reduce risk by ensuring heat sources are not adjacent to accumulated possessions is one step to help mitigate risk. Education about fire safety, as well as healthy home information in general, may serve to motivate change and acceptance of some change in hoarding behaviors.

The attached brief video "Comparison of Excessive Clutter" was created by a fire department that conducted a side-by-side burn to illustrate the dangers of hoarding. The two rooms are identical, with the exception of the left room having excessive clutter, which acts as increased surface area of combustible fuel for the fire, fully engulfing the room in a much more rapid time sequence. This simulation demonstrates the increased fire safety risk of hoarding, resulting in both potential fatalities of residents who are unable to escape the dwelling in time, as well as the challenges for fire fighters to be able to respond successfully to such fires.

Also attached are several more videos about hoarding conditions and home safety.

Helpful Links

Healthy Homes
Seven Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home
Healthy Housing Checklist

Hoarding Videos

Comparison of Exessive Clutter HD
The Safety Challanges of Hoarding Part 1
The Safety Challanges of Hoarding Part 1