October is Fire Prevention Month
This years National Fire Prevention week was October 9 - October 15, 2022 and the theme was "Fire won't wait. Plan your escape! The goal of fire prevention week is to raise fire safety awareness and help ensure your home and family are protected.
Here are some eye opening facts:
Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires
Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires with no working smoking alarms
60% do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly
Less than 50% have CO alarms in their home
Carbon monoxide is the #1 cause of accidental poisoning in the United States
I think most people are aware of common causes of fires in homes to include cooking (grease fires), candles, woodstoves, fireplaces, and dried out Christmas trees but here are some other common causes of home fires:
WORN ELECTRICAL CORDS---yes power cords can wear out over time as they are used and abused. Keep an eye on your cords and their conditions when using them.
SPACE HEATERS if you are using space heaters be sure to keep them away from combustible items such as curtains, furniture, rugs, blankets, stuffed animals, etc.
Make sure they are UL approved as well as safety tested. Be especially careful with those that have the coil heaters. Never leave a space heater unattended or on for extended periods of time. Check them frequently.
DRYERS make sure you keep your dryer free from lint build-up. This is another leading cause of home fires. Make sure to clean the lint tray as well as the vent system. Lint is highly flammable and the buildup also prevents the dryer from working correctly and can cause the vent not to flow correctly.
LOOSE OUTLETS outlets can also wear out with all the plugging and unplugging. If cords are not staying plugged in it is a fire hazard as well. If the outlets are not securely gripping the plug it causes a missed electrical connection which can cause the electricity to jump from one place to another which can cause a fire. Be sure to have a licensed and insured electrician replace these outlets for you.
This is also the perfect time to test your smoke alarms, replace the batteries and practice your home escape. Make sure your fire extinguishers haven't expired and replace if they have.
Prevention is the best step in protecting your family and your home. Stay safe!