National Fire Prevention Week’s 2016 Theme is: “Don’t Wait Check – the Date”
Many people don’t realize that fatal fires are tragic realities and genuine threats in the U.S. The experts at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), however, are well aware. Each year the NFPA sponsors National Fire Prevention Week (NFPW), and this year it is October 9 through 15. The theme “Don’t Wait Check – the Date” is about smoke alarms. This is the third consecutive year NFPW has been about these life-saving devices. The decision was made to keep the focus on smoke alarms as a result of research which revealed that there are many misconceptions about them.
It is highly advised to have an Annual Chimney Cleaning to be sure that any creosote or obstructions (animal nests) are removed from your chimney. Prior to using your stove or fireplace each season please get a full Chimney Inspection which will assure you that the entire system is in good working order.
Smoke Alarm Tips
Smoke alarms provide a warning that there’s a fire. The risk of dying in a reported home fire is cut in half if there are working smoke alarms in the home. The following are the tips being stressed this week for National Fire Prevention Week:
· Be aware of the age of the smoke alarms in your house.
· Replace smoke alarms every ten years.
· To learn how old a smoke alarm is, check the date of manufacture on the back.
More about Smoke Alarms and Home Fires
People are often nonchalant about smoke alarms because they aren’t informed about the level of threat posed by fires. The more people understand about situations that result in fires and actions that can be taken to prevent loss of life and property, the better. The following is information about home fires and more about smoke alarms:
· About 50% of fire fatalities occur during the hours when most people are sleeping, between 11 pm and 7 am. During these hours, only one in five home fires is reported.
· In 2014, there were 2,745 deaths as a result of home fires; there were also 11,825 civilian injuries.
· Home fire deaths are caused by smoking materials more than anything else.
· Cooking equipment causes the most home fire injuries.
· About one of every 335 households had a reported home fire between 2009 and 2013.
· The average number of deaths in a home fire is one or two. In 2014, however, there were 15 home fires that killed five or more people, totaling 88 deaths.
· Three of every five deaths in a recent 5-year-period occurred in homes where there was either no smoke alarm or a smoke alarm that wasn’t operational.
· The top three reasons smoke alarms don’t go off are: No batteries, dead batteries, and disconnected batteries.
Take the Fire Prevention Week Quiz and More
On the NFPA website, you can find fire safety materials for individual households, classrooms, and communities. The annual NFPW quiz is a popular online feature. There are numerous printouts, and there is plenty available that will engage children in fire safety. One helpful resource gives guidance for making a home fire escape plan.
One of the safety tips emphasized by NFPA is that fire can spread quickly through a home, and occupants often have as little as 1 or 2 minutes to safely escape. The ability to escape a fire is usually dependent upon working smoke alarms.