Fire Prevention week is October 4th - 10th this year.
Every year, Fire Prevention Week is observed to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire (October 8, 1871) which killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 people homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. This week is dedicated to educating the community on ways to prevent fires and stay safe in case of fires.
Many home fires are preventable!
So, what are some things we can do to prevent these fires from even starting?
- WATCH your cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- GIVE space heaters space. Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- SMOKE outside. Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.
- KEEP matches and lighters out of reach. Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.
- INSPECT electrical cords. Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.
- BE CAREFUL when using candles. Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
However, even when we do everything right, sometimes fires can still happen.
What are some things you can do to protect you, your loved ones, and your property during a fire?
- HAVE a home fire escape plan. Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
- TEST smoke alarms. Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
- INSTALL smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- INSTALL sprinklers. If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.
Perhaps one of the most important thing you can do during Fire Prevention Week is create a fire escape plan.
If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire. According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
So, how do you develop a fire escape plan?
- MAKE a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
- KNOW at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
- HAVE an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
- PRACTICE your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year. And, practice using different ways out.
- TEACH children how to escape on their own incase you can’t help them.
- CLOSE doors behind you as you leave.
Click HERE to download the fire escape plan worksheet.
Ener-Tel is serious about keeping you, your family, and your property safe. If you have questions about adding smoke alarms to your home, click here or give us a call at (325) 658-8375.
Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA®)