Friday October 4, 2019
Timely Advice from Sparky the Fire Dog!
October is Fire Prevention Awareness Month, a month-long focus devoted to educating people on how
fires start and what to do in the event of a fire emergency. This year’s theme is
“Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”
It’s a good time of the year to remind people about how fires start and safety techniques as we’re
coming into a season when fires are in and around our homes for warmth, comfort and aesthetics.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “ in a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds.
Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough
time to get out.” Let’s look at what causes the most home fires.
Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires and fire-related injuries due to unattended cooking.
Stay alert and in the kitchen while cooking. Heating equipment is also a leading source of home fires – half of which occur in December, January and February. As noted in our September blog post, have your equipment and chimneys inspected yearly to make sure there are no issues or potential hazards. If you use space heaters remember to
give them space–keep anything that can burn a minimum of 3 feet from heating sources.
According to NFPA, electrical distribution or lighting equipment ranked first in direct property damage,
and third among the major fire causes in the number of home fires, and tied for third in home fire
deaths and home fire injuries. Make sure you use a qualified electrician to handle any needs in your
home. Don’t overuse extension cords and use light bulbs with the recommended wattage for the
fixture. If you smoke, smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires starting in the living room and bedroom; the
leading location of origin is an exterior porch or balcony. The risk of dying in a home fire caused by smoking materials increases with age.
Last but not least is candles. On average, 23 home fires caused by candles are reported each day in the United States. The top days for these fires are New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If
you’re going to use wick candles, place them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. We say, go
for the safe flame -- battery-operated candles that look for lifelike – even with moving flames!
Now that you know the leading causes of fires in the home, it’s prudent to focus on proper
preparedness and how you can help keep your family safe from fire. Two easy steps you can take are:
Testing the smoke alarms in your house, and creating and practicing a fire escape plan