National Fire Prevention Week

This week is National Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme is “Hear The Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!”
Here are a few fire prevention tips to help keep you and your family safe!
 
Smoke alarms are very important for fire prevention! Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or homes where the alarms are not working. Install smoke alarms on every level of your house including the basement, and especially in every bedroom. Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet away from the stove to prevent false alarms. Test smoke alarms once a month and replace once they are 10 years old.
 
Make a Home Escape Plan. Create a home escape plan by drawing a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Practice this plan with everyone in your home at night and during the day at least twice a year. Go over different scenarios and make sure everyone knows their safest exit. Know at least 2 ways out of every room, if possible. If the alarm sounds, GET OUT AND STAY OUT. Call the Fire Department from outside of your home!
 
Avoid smoking in your home. Most deaths in home smoking-material fires were caused by fires that started in bedrooms (40%) or living rooms, family rooms or dens (35%). Sleep was a factor in roughly one-third of the home smoking material fire deaths. Smoke outside and discard cigarette butts in a deep, sturdy ash tray filled with sand or water. Do not discard butts and ashes in vegetation as plants and grass can easily ignite. If you do smoke inside, be alert and never smoke while you are drowsy or intoxicated.
 
Be warm and safe this winter. Electrical failure or malfunctions caused an average of 47,800 home fires per year in 2007-2011, resulting in an average of 450 deaths and $1.5 billion in direct property damage. The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean. This usually involved creosote build-up in chimneys. Regularly clean and service any source of heat in your home and inspect dryer vents frequently for lint build up. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heaters.
 
Blow out candles before you leave the room or go to bed. On average, there are 29 home candle fires reported per day. More than one-third of these fires (36%) started in the bedroom; however, the candle industry found that only 13% of candle users burn candles in the bedroom most often. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can easily burn and use sturdy candle holders while burning.
 
Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. © 2015 NFPA.