July 24, 2014

Home Fire Safety

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Home Fire Safety

We protect the public providing safety education, building inspects, fire preventing education, enforcing fire codes, fire drills, fire investigations, wild fire education, risk assessments, use of fire extinguishers and any specific education program that is requested.

Fire prevention, as well as the response to fires, are both vital to saving lives. Approximately 20,000 Americans are injured every year due to a fire. Additionally, over 4,000 people die on an annual basis from them. There are a number of aspects to consider when practicing fire safety whether it is inside the home or in a public place.

Fire Hazards in the Home

It is vital that you understand that fire hazards in the home can be avoided. In order to do this, you must identify the fire hazards and correct them as soon as possible. Make sure to keep matches and other fire-starters out of reach from children. Also make sure to keep from overloading any extension cords, outlets and other power sources; if any cords are frayed, replace the appliance part as soon as possible and do not use it until the cord has been replaced.

The top seven fire hazards in your home are Christmas trees, candles, electric lights, kitchen appliances, fireplaces, space and portable heaters and coal or wood-burning stoves. When you have the Christmas tree up in your home, make sure to keep the tree watered. If an electrical shortage occurs on a dry tree, it is much easier to catch fire than on a tree that has been watered. When you have open-flamed candles, make sure to keep them away from plants, furniture, decorations and anything else that can catch fire. Do not burn paper in the fireplace and make sure that you have a cover to go in front to prevent pops from catching your furniture on fire. Also make sure to unplug a space heater and to never leave one unattended.

Preparedness

Being prepared for a fire, means that you have a plan of action. Make sure that every family member has a task to complete from a checklist that includes tasks such as ensuring that new smoke detectors are installed and tested once each month, make sure the fire extinguisher is not expired and practice a fire escape drill on a regular basis so that it becomes habitual. This is important because during an emergency, it can be difficult to remember a plan if it has not been practiced enough.

During a Fire

When a fire occurs, it can be easy to panic unless you know what to do during a fire. If your clothes have caught fire, stop, drop and roll until it has been extinguished. In order to escape from a fire, check closed doors before opening them to get through by placing the back of your hand near the top of the door and by the handle to determine if heat is coming from the other side. If the door is cool, open it slowly and make sure that your escape route is not blocked by the fire. If the door is hot, do not enter the room and escape through the nearest window. Make sure to stay low to avoid smoke inhalation.

Fire Safety for Kids

Fire safety is an important topic to understand. It simply includes everything you need to know in order for you and your family to be safe as well as your home and knowing what you need to do if you are ever in a fire. The three P’s of fire safety are Prevent, Plan and Practice. Prevention is the key to lessen the chance of a fire starting in the first place; taking proper precaution in your home helps with this. Make a plan with you and your family so that you all have things to do to help with prevention and plan a route of escape. Practice these tasks and the escape route regularly so that you understand exactly what you are supposed to do.

Statistics

In terms of accidental death in the home, fire comes in at third place. In the United States, fire death rates are among the highest out of all of the industrialized countries. In the year 2009, over 350,000 fires were reported. This resulted in 2,480 deaths and 12,600 injuries.

Recovering

Recovering from a fire can be a draining process, both mentally and physically. Within the first 24 hours after the incident, you should contact a local disaster relief service to help with immediate needs such as temporary housing, food and other essential items. You should also contact your insurance agency and refrain from re-entering the home as fires can reignite themselves from smoldering remains. Save the receipts for any money you spend as far as food, lodging expenses, etc. to be documented for your claim so that you can be reimbursed.

After everything has settled down, locate your identification, medicine and insurance information as well as monetary valuables including jewelry and credit cards. Notify all important parties of your relocation, such as your insurance company, post office, your employer and your friends and family members. Make sure not to throw away anything that has been damaged until it has been inspected for the claim.

Famous Fires

Before the 20th century, fires were the major cause of damage to cities and were a major hazard to urban areas. Some historical fires include the First Great Fire of New York City, which occurred in 1776 and the Second Great Fire occurred in 1835. The Great Fire of Pittsburgh destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in 1845 and the Great Boston Fire of 1872 killed at least 20 people and destroyed 776 buildings. Other historical fires include the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, the Great Baltimore Fire in 1904, the Great Salem Fire of 1914 and numerous California wildfires in 2007.

Home Safety Guide

Our homes are our safe haven. We must protect it and those inside. Accidents can happen in any room of a house. That’s why its pertinent to take precautions to safety-proofing rooms based on design and usage. Its even more important to take preventive measures when there are children and the elderly residing in the home.

According to the National Safety Council there were 33,000 deaths and 8,000,000 injuries in 2002 that occurred in homes. Statistics also show that every 16 minutes a death occurs from a home accident and every 4 seconds an injury occurs. The injuries and fatalities are a result of poisonings, fires, suffocation and falls. The following resources will help prevent these common home injuries.

Kitchen Safety

  • Kitchen Safety Rules: A guide to using kitchen equipment, preventing falls and fires.
  • Kitchen Fire Safety: Kitchens are the number one room in the house where fires start. The Police Notebook gives five guidelines to follow to prevent kitchen fires.
  • Young Children in the Kitchen: Children like to be chefs, but they need rules and safety measures to keep them safe.
  • The Kitchen and You: This resource for students helps them apply these rules to keep the kitchen a safe place.
  • Cook Safely: Avoid kitchen fires by following these simple safety tips.
  • Preventing Kitchen Fires: 11 tips to preventing kitchen fires.
  • Virtual Kitchen: The virtual kitchen will help you work on making specific areas safer.
  • Cooking Safety: The City of Coppell Fire Department is dedicated to keeping your kitchen safe from fires by providing safety awareness tips.
  • Keeping the Kitchen Safe: Many tips for preventing leaks, cleaning the kitchen after a leaking appliance and keeping the kitchen safe from accidents and buglers.
  • Safe use of the Kitchen: Use appliances safely by following the tips listed on this page.

Bathroom Safety

  • For Older Adults: Prevent bathroom falls of the elderly with these house assessment tools.
  • Staying Clean and Safe: Keep your bathroom clean and safe with these rules.
  • Bathroom Safety for Children: Seven guides to important bathroom safety issues for children.
  • Toileting Safety: Safety guide for those who need to equip the bathroom according to loved ones with disabilities.
  • Bathroom Poisons: Protect children from poisons in the bathroom with these safety tips.
  • Medicine Cabinet: Medicine cabinets can carry deadly consequences for children. This peer-reviewed paper provides safety guidelines for the medicine cabinet.
  • Bathing Children: A babysitters guide to keeping children safe during bath time.
  • Tub or Shower: A personal care guide for creating a safe bathroom environment for the elderly.
  • Bathroom Safety for Adults: This article focuses on older adult’s safety in the bathroom.

Bedroom Safety

  • Fire Safety in the Bedroom: Use these steps from the United States Fire Administration and the Sleep Products Safety Council to protect your loved ones in case of a fire.
  • Kids Bedroom: Get the information you need to keep your child’s room safe from fires.
  • Baby’s Room: Follow these simple rooms to keep your baby’s room safe.
  • Bedroom Safety Tips: Tips for those who have Parkinson’s disease.
  • The Bedroom: A bedroom safety checklist.
  • Furniture Dangers: Six tips for keeping children safe from accidents involving furniture.
  • Tip Over Hazards: Consumer Product Safety Commission tips for keeping furniture from tipping over.

Walls/Floors/Doors/Windows Safety

  • Preventing Falls: Prevent falls with these tips.
  • Stair Cases: Briefly describes safety issues for staircases.
  • Window Guards: Learn how using locks and window guards can protect your little ones.
  • Hallway Safety: Protect your children from common injuries with these hallway and staircase tips.
  • Fall Prevention: Use this sheet to take inventory of your home to help prevent falls.
  • Crime Prevention: A guide to keeping your home safe from break-ins.
  • Window Safety: Fairfax County provides four resources for protecting children from accidents involving windows.

Electrical/Heating and Cooling Safety

  • Electrical Safety Tips: A few tips to remain safe around electricity.
  • Electrical Safety Guide: This electrical guide has a collection of resources for electricians, but is useful and pertinent for anyone doing electrical work in his home.
  • Heating Safety: The Phoenix Fire Departments guide on the dangers of home heating systems.
  • Portable Heaters: The U.S Department of Energy provides guidelines for using portable heaters.
  • Home Heating: The New York City Fire Department gives advice for utilizing heating systems carefully and safely.
  • Heating & Cooling Systems: Take the proper precautions to keep your heating and cooling systems working properly.
  • Why Worry?: Get the facts to prevent electrical accidents and to respond to emergencies.

Garage/Basement/Laundry Safety

Outdoor/Backyard/Pool Safety

  • Home Water Hazards: A collection of water safety articles, videos and checklists.
  • Backyard Safety: 17 tips to having a safe backyard. There are also two PDF resources and deck safety video for more backyard safety tips.
  • Pools and Playgrounds: Basic safety tips for pool and playground equipment safety.
  • Summer Safety: A complete guide to a safe family summer, whether your grilling, swimming or doing backyard chores.
  • Outdoor Grilling: Enjoy your outdoor BBQ safely with these National Fire Protection Association tips.