In support of National Fire Prevention Week this is the first of two posts on fire prevention, and fire safety.
Fire Prevention Week/Month is traditionally this time of year, but front of mind awareness of fire prevention and fire safety is a year-round job. Sobering stats from NFPA:
- Unattended cooking causes most home fires, and fire injuries
- Heating equipment causes 15% of home fires. Blocked or damaged chimneys start about 25% of these fires. Space heaters cause 86% of deaths in these fires.
- Electrical issues, typically in BRs (17%) or attics (12%), these are next on the list.
- Smoking materials cause 5% of home fires and a full 21% of all home fire deaths
- Poor candle safety kills an estimated 80 people a year
- Washers and dryers are the appliances that start the most home fires, about 25%. The breakdown of electric and conditional (i.e. lint accumulating in sub-standard venting) is not available.
If you’ve read this far chances are you get it. Life is busy, days fly by. But your heart is probably beating a little faster, and you’ve got a mental checklist going. EXCELLENT! But going to ask you take it up a notch, and also look around you.
This time of year, many gathering opportunities lie in front of us. Please consider being the best friend, neighbor or loved one possible. Reach out, pay attention to what you see, especially if your friend/neighbor/loved one is older, or lives alone. And if you see something, please say or do something.
I know how this sounds. But you’re not casting for a reality show, or out to shame anyone. Sometimes preventing a devastating fire just needs a few easy fixes we never get around to making fully right, or the overdue repairs/updates we simply lose track of time on.
Going home for Thanksgiving? Or maybe you’re a home professional who notices a few issues when you’re in a client’s home, doing your job? Take a look, here are few easy to spot, easy to remedy fixes.
- Ribbed dryer venting (banned years ago, ribs accumulate lint)
- Conspicuous use of plug-in outlet extenders, extension cords and surge protectors
- Wires running under carpets, across walkways
- Overly bright (ie over-wattage bulbs) in fixtures
- Curtain panels near candles or a stove
More involved trouble-shooting to alert a family member to could include
- Papers, or other flamables too near the boiler
- Sloppy smoking habits
- Space heaters, or those who use the oven for heat
- Entrances, windows or walkways in house blocked by stuff.
As they say in the business, not every hero wears a cape.