It’s National Fire Prevention Week and a great time to check around your house for possible fire hazards. Also, check the batteries in your smoke alarms to make sure all are in working order. No one plans for a house fire, but if it happens “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” which is the theme for the 2017 Fire Prevention Week. Your family can put together their own fire escape plan using the tips and ideas at the link above.
According to the NFPA.org website, the top causes of fire in the house include: arson and intentional fires, candles, cooking, electrical, heating, smoking and young firesetters. Cooking equipment may cause the most home structure fires and home fire injuries, but smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S. because so many of these fires happen at night after the family has gone to bed. Smoking material such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars caused 17,200 or 5% of the reported home fires in 2014, however, they were responsible for 21% of home fire deaths. If you must smoke, follow some simple rules that will protect you and your family from a possible house fire:
– first, don’t smoke inside. Most house fires deaths are from fires in living rooms, family rooms, dens and bedrooms. It is too easy to ignite curtains or for ash to fall onto furniture and carpeting and smoulder for hours before a blaze erupts. If you must smoke inside, use a deep, sturdy ashtray and douse the butts in water before throwing them in the trash.
– second, when you smoke outside, be careful where you discard the butt. Landscape mulch acts like dry kindling and could easily spark a fire long after you leave the area. Have a bucket of sand or water handy in which to throw butts.
– third, keep smoking materials and lighting equipment out of sight and away from the hands of children. It only takes a second for a young child to experiment with fire and unintentionally start a deadly blaze.
– fourth, if oxygen is being used in the home, smoking should never be allowed.
– fifth, never leave electronic cigarettes unattended while charging. Batteries have been known to fail resulting in explosion and fires.
While no one plans for a house fire, you can plan to keep your family safer by quitting smoking and using this handy Quit Kit from Tobacco Free Florida, or from Smokefree.gov. There is no time like the present to get started.
Click HERE for more tips on fire prevention in the home.