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Fire Prevention Week! Every Second Counts!

October 8-14, 2017, is annual Fire Prevention Week. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is providing the important reminder this year that every second counts, when there is a fire. The difference between residents safely escaping a fire or having lives tragically end can be mere seconds. For this reason, the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” Reinforcing the need to have an escape plan helps to save lives.

It is highly advised to have an Annual Chimney Cleaning to be sure that any creosote or obstructions (animal nests) are removed from your chimney. Prior to using your stove or fireplace each season please get a full Chimney Inspection which will assure you that the entire system is in good working order.

Plan 2 Ways Out!

It’s important for families to take the time to come up with life-saving strategies on what to do in the event of a fire. There are many fire safety basics that everyone should tend to on a regular basis, such as placing smoke alarms in recommended places and keeping them operational with fresh batteries. The following are tips related to what to do if a fire occurs:

·      For each room, determine two exits as well as a path to the outside.

·      Twice every year, practice a home fire drill. Conduct one at night and one during the day, and practice the different ways to get out.

·      Help children understand that they may need to escape on their own, in case adults are unable to help. Let them practice escaping without assistance.

·      Make sure the fire department can find your home with no difficulties by making sure your home address is clearly marked and easy to see.

·      When you leave your room and your home in a fire, close doors behind you. Doing this could slow down the spread of heat, fire, and smoke.

·      Stay outside once you get outside. Never return to a burning home or building.

Fire Statistics

In the United States in 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires. The fires resulted in 3,280 civilian deaths and 15,700 civilian injuries. On average, nine lives were lost by fire every day.

On average, fire department in the U.S. responded to:

·      A home fire every 86 seconds

·      A fire every 23 seconds

·      A structure fire every 63 seconds

·      An unclassified or outside fire every 52 seconds

·      A highway vehicle fire every 181 seconds

The leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries is cooking equipment. Unattended cooking is the primary factor that contributes to these types of fires. The greatest risk of a fire is caused by frying.

The cause of more than half of all injuries that occurred in cooking fires resulted from people trying to fight the fires themselves.

Cooking is the second leading cause of deaths in home fires.

The leading cause of home fire deaths is smoking, and it has been for decades. Among these types of fire fatalities, two-thirds of them or 66% resulted from fires that originated on mattresses, bedding, or upholstered furniture.

Teaching the Kids

One of the best ways to promote fire safety is to get children involved in Fire Prevention Week through teaching materials that are available. There is the adorable mascot Sparky the Fire Dog, and the website has downloadable materials that can equip families to focus on fire safety at home.

Homes with fireplaces have additional risks of home fires. According to the NFPA, it’s essential to schedule annual chimney inspections, if you have a traditional masonry fireplace. Annual inspections combined with chimney cleaning, when needed, can greatly reduce the risk of hazardous chimney fires. Everyone can benefit from the advice to Plan 2 Ways Out!

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