460th CES Offer Fire Prevention Tips
By Brett Galeener, 460th Civil Engineering Squadron
/ Published September 24, 2009
Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. -- Fall is approaching the Front Range quickly. The nights are colder and the days are shorter. Here are some fire safety facts and tips on how to stay safe not just during the fall and winter, but all year long.
Cooking: Is the leading cause of home fires, and accounted for 40 percent of home fires and 36 percent of related injuries, according to a 2005 National Fire Protection Agency study. Unattended cooking is the main cause of cooking fires.
How do we decrease these numbers? Here are a few simple tips:
· Keep anything that could catch fire away from the stove.
· Turn pot handles in when children are present.
· Keep a clear zone in front of your stove and teach children not to cross it.
· Don't wear loose fitting clothes while cooking.
· If you're cooking and you must leave the room, turn the burners off.
Heating: Between 2003 to 2006, more than half of all heating associated deaths occurred from January to March. Space heaters are responsible for far more fires than central heating which accounts for 4 percent of fires and 17 percent of home fire deaths. Most space heater fires are caused by combustible or flammable items placed too close to the heater.
· Give space heaters space, at least a 3 foot clearance.
· Turn off and unplug space heaters when you leave the room.
· Ensure the space heater has a thermal heat control, a switch that shuts off the heater if tipped over.
· Make sure it's Underwriters Laboratories approved, by looking for a UL sticker.
Smoke detectors: Since the 1970's there have been close to 50 percent less fire deaths due to the use of smoke detectors. Smoke detectors will only work if properly installed and maintained.
· Change the battery yearly or as needed, vacuum the detector quarterly.
· Follow all manufacturer instructions.