Buckley Fire and Emergency Services: Fire Prevention Week coming soon
By Carlos Hidalgo, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron/Buckley Fire & Emergency Services
/ Published September 23, 2010
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Each year, the week surrounding the date of Oct. 9 is celebrated as National Fire Prevention Week. The date commemorates the infamous "Great Chicago Fire" of 1871 that killed 250 people and destroyed over 17,000 homes.
Every 39 minutes someone in the U.S. is injured in a home fire. Home fires result in hundreds in Colorado being burned and even killed. That's why Buckley Fire and Emergency Services is teaming up with fire departments across the country for Fire Prevention Week 2010 for "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!" which is NFPA's official theme for Fire Prevention Week (FPW), Oct. 3-9. If you're wondering why NFPA, the official sponsor of FPW for nearly 90 years, is focusing on smoke alarms when most homes already have at least one, you've come to the right place.
This year's campaign is designed to educate people about the importance of smoke alarms and encourages everyone to take the steps necessary to update and maintain their home smoke alarm protection.
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
For best protection use both photoelectric and ionization technology. You can use individual ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or combination units that contain both technologies in the same unit.
Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
Make sure everyone can hear the sound of the smoke alarms.
Have a home fire escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and a meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan twice a year.
When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
If you are building or remodeling your home, consider a home fire sprinkler system.
Cooking with Caution
The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
Pay attention to what you are cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
When you are simmering, boiling, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
If you must leave the room even for a short time, turn off the stove.
If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible.
Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove.
When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting or short sleeves.
Allow food cooked in a microwave oven to cool for a few minutes before you take it out.
Open microwave food slowly. Hot steam from the container can cause burns.
The "Heat is On"
Have a 3-foot kid-free zone around open fires and heaters.
Use a fireplace screen to keep sparks inside the fireplace.
Turn portable space heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding, or furniture, at least 3 feet from heaters.
Make sure your portable space heater has an auto shut-off so if it is tipped over, it will shut off.
Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.
Have your chimneys cleaned and inspected before each heating season.
Take it Outside
Ask smokers to smoke outside.
Give smokers deep, sturdy ashtrays.
Never smoke if you are tired, have taken medicine, drugs, or alcohol that makes you sleepy.
Keep smoking materials away from things that can burn, like bedding, furniture, and clothing.
Keep lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs away from anything that can burn, such as lamp shades, bedding, curtains, and clothing.
Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords.
Use extension cords for temporary wiring only. Consider having additional circuits or receptacles added by a qualified electrician.
If you have young children in your home have tamper-resistant electrical receptacles.
Call a qualified electrician or landlord if you have recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, discolored or warm wall outlets, flickering lights or a burning or rubbery small coming form an appliance.
Your home should be a safe haven. Take the time now during Fire Prevention Week to make yourself fire safe.