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The Hartford Home Fire Index Identifies 100 U.S. Cities With Highest Fire Risk

  • Company marks 70th anniversary of its Junior Fire Marshal® program with $2 million donation and commitment to educate 1.5 million children about fire prevention and safety in the 100 cities
  • Since 1947, more than 110 million children deputized as Junior Fire Marshals; such notable people as Ron Howard, Dick Van Dyke and Ronald Reagan helped to recognize children who participated in the program
March 9, 2017
"Since The Hartford’s beginning as a fire insurance company more than 200 years ago, we have been committed to fire prevention and safety"

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hartford released its ranking of the 100 U.S. cities with the highest home fire risk. According to The Hartford Home Fire Index, the top five cities are: Detroit, Mich.; Shreveport, La.; Boston, Mass.; Flint, Mich. and Richmond, Va. A complete list of the 100 U.S. cities can be found at www.thehartford.com/jfm. 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 has committed to donate a total of $2 million to local school districts and fire departments for fire safety education. In addition, the company will provide educational materials to 1.5 million children in kindergarten through third grade. The funding and resources will go to the 100 U.S. cities identified in The Hartford’s Home Fire Index.

“Since The Hartford’s beginning as a fire insurance company more than 200 years ago, we have been committed to fire prevention and safety,” said The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO Christopher Swift. “We are proud of our heritage and the legacy of the Junior Fire Marshal program, but there is still more we can do to help build safer communities. Home fires continue to be an issue today. Our goal is to empower everyday kids to become everyday heroes by providing them with the tools and training to reduce fire risk in their homes and be safe.”

2017-2019 Junior Fire Marshal Program
Over the next three years, The Hartford is making a $2 million donation and commitment to the following:

  • Donate $10,000 -- to the public school district in each of the 100 cities to support ongoing fire safety education for a total of $1 million.
  • Donate $10,000 -- to local fire departments in each of the 100 cities to support ongoing fire safety education for a total of $1 million.
  • Provide educational materials to 1.5 million children in kindergarten through third grade in each of the public schools in the 100 cities. 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.

In addition to this pledge and financial commitment, The Hartford has created a mobile fire safety house that will visit schools in select cities across the U.S. to immerse students in fire safety demonstrations using state-of-the-art technology that simulates various home fire situations.

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 www.thehartford.com/jfm.

1 NFIRS 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.

2 According to the National Fire Protection Association

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 https://www.thehartford.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford_PR.

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.

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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 2015 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.

From time to time, The Hartford may use its website to disseminate material company information. Financial and other important information regarding The Hartford is routinely accessible through and posted on our website at https://ir.thehartford.com. In addition, you may automatically receive email alerts and other information about The Hartford when you enroll your email address by visiting the “Email Alerts” section at https://ir.thehartford.com.

Contact:

The Hartford
Debora Raymond, 860-547-4611
debora.raymond@thehartford.com
or
Leon Davis, 860-547-8668
leon.davis@thehartford.com

Multimedia Files:

The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal Program: Home Fire Risk
Watch this video
The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal Program Legacy
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Pictured: Don Knotts and Ron Howard (The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal Program) (Photo: Business Wire)
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Pictured: President Ronald Reagan (The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal Program) (Photo: Business Wire)
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Letter from President John F. Kennedy (The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal Program) (Graphic: Business Wire)
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