For more than 85 years fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
There are many aspects to fire prevenation, some are simple and easily implemented others take more time and thought and practice!
Simple - is to check your smoke detectors - do they need to be replaced and updated? Smoke detectors have a lifespan of about 10 years; so if yours are older, replace them. When did you last test your smoke detectors? It is recommended that you test them monthly! Of course the batteries should be replaced twice a year (it is recommended you change them when we do time change). Working smoke detectors increase the your chances of survival by 50%.
More time intensive and planning includes a home escape route, it is recommended that you have two escape routes planned and that every member of your family practices the routes on a regular basis, and those tests should be timed. The plans should be revised as family members grow older, responsibilities change depending on children's age, and don't forget to adjust as family members leave home; don't forget the pets too!
There are an estimated 369,000 home fires across the US each year and less than 23% of the homes have developed and practiced an escape plan.
Carelessness causes most home fires; does your home pass this checklist?
1. Chimney Fire - can break out when too hot a fire is kindled in the furnace.
2. Attic Fire - can start when an overheated chimney ignites materials stored in an attic.
3. Fire Can Blaze Up in Paint Cans - if they are stored in warm basements.
4. Fire From Hot Ashes - can flare up when they are stored in an improper container.
5. Fire on a Workbench - can start if a connected soldering iron or wood burning tip is left untended.
6. Fire in a Closet - can begin when overloaded fuse box ignites clothes or rags.
7. Fire in Waste Paper - can begin if trash is stored carelessly in a basement.
8. Fire from Poor Wiring - in an appliance or wall can quickly spread to nearby curtains.
9. Fire in a Chair - can start when a careless smoker drops hot ashes.
10. Flashback Fire - starts when cleaning fluid fumes from a sink reach the furnace.
11. Closet Fires - can start when spontaneous combustion sets rags or mops on fire.
12. Fire in a Grease pan or Deep Fryer - on a stove can ignite nearby curtains.
13. Fire in a Wastebasket - can flare up if hot cigarette ashes are emptied into it.
14. Curtains or Furniture Can be Set Ablaze - by a child playing with matches.
15. Fire in Bedding - can happen when a careless smoker falls asleep in bed.
Our local fire department will gladly provide you with more information about these topics.
Carol Murphy Team, Keller Williams Greater Cleveland