Fire Prevention Week was started in 1920 on the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, when President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation. This year October 4 – 10, 2015 ushers in Fire Prevention Week with the theme “Hear The Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths. During the years 2007-2011 “these fires caused an average of 580 deaths, 1,280 injuries and $509 million in direct property damage per year.” Falling asleep while smoking caused about one-third of these deaths. According to PBS.org, “approximately 1,500 kids are killed each year by fires in the home that were caused by cigarettes.”
What can you do to protect your home and family from house fires if you are a smoker? First, smoke outside if you can. Not only will this protect your family from secondhand smoke, it will protect them from fires started by smoking materials inside the house. Second, if you smoke inside, put your cigarette out a deep, flat, sturdy ashtray that is difficult to tip over. If you smoke outside fill a can with sand and extinguish your cigarette in the can, making sure it is completely out. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms, and if the alarms are battery operated, check the batteries at least once a year to make they are still working.
If you use electronic cigarettes, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions for charging the device. Never leave a charging electronic cigarette unattended in a house or vehicle as reports of exploding devices have become common place.
Click HERE to find other fire safety advice to protect your family and home.