The passage of Fire Prevention Week offers an opportunity to re-evaluate our fire protection. Simply being aware of the risk is inadequate – alarm systems and procedures need to be in place for true fire safety.
As a FEMA press release about October being National Fire Protection Month notes, “most Americans underestimate their risk for fire, and many either lack emergency response plans – or fail to practice them with fire drills.”
FEMA also notes how in a typical house fire, there may be only one or two minutes after an alarm sounds to escape the premises. A small flame can become a major blaze in just 30 seconds. There isn’t a lot of room for delay once fire breaks out.
Clear and Present Fire Risk
Unfortunately, this month’s news reports show how real a threat fire is in New England. A house fire in Peabody, Massachusetts, began on the residence’s porch and spread to the back of the building. A firefighter crashed through the porch during the blaze.
Similarly, Stoneham, Massachusetts, police had to rescue a woman from a house fire. The woman climbed out of a second-floor window on to the roof, and police caught her when she jumped. She was lucky the first responders were there.
Where the Fires Start
Focusing on the root causes for house fires can help homeowners prepare and reduce the risks. Fires often start in the kitchen due to cooking accidents. Stove clutter increases risk – so does leaving the kitchen when cooking. Fires are often caused by electrical failures or malfunctions as well, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). Such electrical glitches result in 47,700 home fires annually.
To help protect your home, we offer these tips from the above sources and the information sharing website, LoveToKnow:
- Create a fire escape route
- Hold fire drills and practice use of the escape route
- Identify the locations of all on-premises fire extinguishers
- Buy and install a fire-proof safe (for special documents and goods)
- Become expert in the proper use of all electrical appliances (heater, air conditioner, etc.) to insure you don’t risk creating a fire
- Properly store all unused matches and lighters
- Make sure all detectors are under 10 years old and working
To take another step to greater safety, consider not only installing alarms, but also securing fire detection and alerting services from a proven professional.
A team of experts manning a command center 24/7 can receive notifications from your smoke alarms and other environmental sensors. The safety pros then alert you and first responders immediately. A monitoring service will let Fire Prevention Week pass by with less care.