December Safety Tip #2

Home Fire Safety Ideas

Every 15 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States. A residential fire occurs every 66 seconds. There is one civilian fire death every 118 minutes. There is one civilian fire injury every 18 minutes. In 2008, 91 firefighters were killed in the line of duty and over 40.000 firefighters were injured on the fire ground.

The Nature of Fire:

Fires are likely to start in many places in the home including the kitchen, living room, bedroom and storage areas such as, the attic, basement, workroom or storeroom. Causes of fire include overheated or overloaded electrical wire, cigarette ashes, smoldering ashes in the couch, sparks from the fireplace, unattended outdoor fires and barbecues, appliances in poor repair and unattended cooking in the kitchen. A home fire inspection will help reduce the possibility of a fire in your home. When a fire hazard is identified, one side from the fire tetrahedron has been removed. For example, we know that “Smokers Need Watchers.” If a live cigarette ash is discovered behind a couch after a party and extinguished, the heat side of the fire tetrahedron is eliminated.

Kitchen:

All electrical appliances and tools should have a testing agency label. Have the appliances repaired if they aren’t working right.
If an appliance gets wet, have it serviced. Check the cords on all appliances. If they are worn or frayed, have them repaired. Don’t overload the outlets. Be sure a fire extinguisher is placed in the kitchen. The Fire Department recommends a minimum 2A10BC extinguisher. All cleaning products and other chemicals should be stored out of the reach of young children, not under the sink.
Living room or family room – Be sure portable space heaters are at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire including walls and curtains. Use a metal or glass fireplace screen. Have the chimney checked and cleaned regularly. Allow plenty of air space around the TV and stereo to prevent overheating. If these appliances are not working correctly, be sure to have them repaired. In the meantime, unplug them. Check for worn or frayed extension cords or other electrical cords. Extension cords should not run under rugs and carpets or be looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray. Check for overloaded outlets or extension cords.

Note: Half of all home fire deaths occur at night, so fire hazard checks and special attention to fire prevention should occur before going to bed.