Hoarding & Fire Safety

Many fire departments are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior.

A particular concern of the fire service is the chaotic nature of the material in many hoarding households, where blocked windows and exits can make fire attack and rescue difficult. (Photo: Newscom)

The excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to firefighters fighting fires and responding to other emergencies in these homes and to residents and neighbors. Often, the local fire department will be contacted to help deal with this serious issue. Since studies suggest that between 3% to 5% of the population are compulsive hoarders, fire departments must become familiar with this issue and how to effectively handle it. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has provided a helpful flier for residents of our communities. Please share and help inform others! 

Hoarding Tips Sheet (PDF)