National Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

Image credit: Casey Kreider, Lancaster Newspapers

Image credit: Casey Kreider, Lancaster Newspapers

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important.  It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan.  Here’s what you need to know and do:

  1. Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  2. Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  3. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  4. Make sure the street number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  5. Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  6. Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

In addition did you know that:

  • U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires between 2007-2011, resulting in 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 civilian injuries and $853 million in direct damage.
  • Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.
  • Unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires.
  • Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Ranges accounted for the 58% of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
  • Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.
  • Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. Nearly half (44%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 were scald burns.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.

To prepare and protect yourself from any kind of home fire:

1. Have an Escape Plan – refer again to numbers 1 through 6 above.

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, more than half never practiced it .
  • One-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!

2. Have smoke alarms and be sure that they work!

  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 92% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 77% of the time.

In recognition of this year’s National Fire Prevention Week, we encourage you to take precaution and prepare yourself.  Make sure that you have two ways out!

If you would like to have smoke detectors installed, please set up a service call request with us at Brubaker Inc. at 717.299.5641 or email us.

If you have smoke detectors, when is the last time that you checked them or tested them? Quiz yourself in this smoke alarm safety checklist, compliments of the NFPA.

Don’t become a historical statistic. Be sure you have working smoke detectors and alarms today!



Photo courtesy of Eden Fire Co., Lancaster, PA

Photo courtesy of Eden Fire Co., Lancaster, PA

Sources:

1. “Fire Prevention Week”, NFPA.org

2. “Fast Facts About Fire”, NFPA.org

3. “Prevent Kitchen Fires”, NFPA.org

4. “Fire Prevention Week”, Wikipedia.org

5. “About Fire Protection Week”, NFPA.org

6. “Home Improvements to Prevent Kitchen Fires”, HomeAdvisor.com

7. “Fire Safety Tips”, Lohser Real Estate Group – Keller Williams Greater Cleveland, Cleveland, OH