The second week of October is known as fire prevention week. Let’s take this time to learn about some possible fire hazards so we aren’t paying the price later! Don’t think “this can’t happen to me.” In fact, there are an average of 369,500 house fires a year – many of which are preventable with a bit of planning. Gather up the entire family today for some painless education on fire prevention, you won’t regret it!
Cooking is the third leading cause of fire deaths and the leading cause of injury among people ages 65 and older (1). The good news is, there are many precautions you can take to prevent cooking fires. First and foremost, never leave your stove unattended. Don’t try to tackle other tasks while cooking, make sure to give it your full attention. It is also important to only wear short or tight fitting sleeves when you cook as well as keep towels, pot holders, and curtains away from flames. Make sure handles of pots are turned inwards to avoid being knocked over. Finally, never use the oven to heat your home!
Cords, outlets, and wiring pose a huge fire threat, so it is crucial they are inspected and used properly. Look for frayed, exposed wires, or loose plugs on chords. Be sure not to run wiring under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas. It is also important not to overload extension cords or outlets, and make sure outlets have cover plates.
If you must smoke, never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated. When you are done smoking be sure you put it out all the way. Always keep a safe distance away from people when smoking to avoid catching clothes or a head full of hairspray on fire. Also, keep your smoking supplies of of reach of children at all times.
Space Heater Safety
To use your heater safely, leave 3 feet of clear space around it. This means keeping all furniture, rugs, curtains, and even pets away from it. Make sure your space heaters have a UL mark. That means it is professionally tested by Underwriters Laboratories and is safe.
Before the cold seasons commence make sure your home is ready. If your family loves the contentment and warmth of a fireplace and you use it often, give it a check! Once a year have your chimney and fireplaces inspected and cleaned. It is important that you keep a watchful eye on the fire at all times and put it out before you go to bed. Never leave it running overnight. After you put out the fire, place the hot ash in a metal container.
Smoke detectors of course detect a fire, so they won’t necessarily prevent one. However, they will alert you to a fire as soon as possible so it can be handled right away. There are two different types of smoke detectors: ionization and photoelectric. They each serve in their own special way, making them both are important. For best protection use both type of technologies. Combination alarms are available that include both technologies. Test smoke detectors once and month and replace batteries twice a year.
It only takes seconds for a fire to start and grow rapidly, destroying your home and threatening the lives of your loved ones. Take time with your family this week to go over these fire prevention tips. Fires are serious, the risks shouldn’t be ignored. Don’t pay the price of neglect, put these fire prevention tips to work today for the safety of you and your loved ones!