Last week was National Fire Prevention Week, and this week in Southeast Texas a house fire tragedy unfortunately claimed the lives of a mother and her five children. Fall is the time of year when people are excited to fire up their fire places and fire pits, light festive candles, and decorate their homes with fall foliage. Sadly, these seasonal items may also increase the risk of a house fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, "one-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom.” Moreover, not everyone has working smoke alarms to alert them to danger.
The National Safety Council suggests the following tips to keep you and your family safe from fire:
The U.S. Fire Administration has more tips if you have small children in your home:
- Install both types of smoke alarms (ionization and photoelectric) and carbon monoxide alarms; change the batteries at least once a year in these devices
- Plan – and practice – an escape route and agree on a meeting place outside of your home; be prepared to assist young children, family members with special needs and pets
- Know two ways out of every room in the home
- Learn how to use your fire extinguisher
- If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll
- When evacuating, if door handles are hot, pick an alternate route
- Leave your house and call for help; do not go back to help someone else
Take steps to prevent a fire and be prepared in case one does occur. "Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half,” according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Safety precautions give you and your family peace of mind.
- Keep children 3 feet away from anything hot, like candles, space heaters and stove-tops
- Keep smoking materials locked up in a high place; never leave cigarette lighters or matches where children can reach them
- Never play with lighters or matches when you are with your children; they may try to imitate you
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!