Fire Prevention Week - Safety Tips and Information

Fire Prevention Week - Safety Tips and Information

Author: P. Christopher Guedri, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

The longest-running public health and safety observance on record in America, Fire Prevention Safety Week, returns this week [October 4-10] with “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” as its theme. [1] In honor of the event, here are some tips and information for improving safety and preparing for the risk of fire.

Use and Maintain a Smoke Alarm

  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying from a fire by half.
  • Although only 1 in 5 home fires occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., 50 percent of fire fatalities occur during this stretch. Smoke alarms help to wake up potential victims in time to escape from a fire.
  • From 2007-2011, 60 percent of fire fatalities occurred in homes that either had no smoke alarm or had no working alarm.
  • An easy-to-fix yet common cause of smoke alarm failure is an issue with the batteries, such as when they are dead, disconnected, or missing.[2]

Have and Practice an Escape Plan

  • Survey results taken by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reveal that most Americans either do not have a fire escape plan or have not practiced it.
  • Despite what some may believe, the time to escape from a fire before it becomes life-threatening is often less than six minutes. The only way to know whether an escape plan can be executed in the time available is by practicing it.[3]

Know the Possible Fire Risks

  • Two out of every five home fires start in the kitchen, and cooking-related fires accounted for 400 deaths and 5,080 injuries, along with $853 million in damage, from 2007 to 2011.
  • Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries in the United States. Space heaters accounted for 33 percent of heater-caused fires and more than 80 percent of home heating deaths.
  • One of the leading causes of cooking and heating-related fires was a failure to clean the equipment. Old build-up on equipment can cause ignition and spread of fire.
  • Electrical fires average 450 deaths and $1.5 billion in property damage per year. The leading causes of electrical fires are electrical distribution or lighting equipment.[4]

Preparation can go a long way in keeping the people inside the home safe in the event of a fire.

About The Author: Chris Guedri was named "Lawyer of the Year 2015" by Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury-Plantiff's in Richmond, VA. He is an attorney with more than 30 years of experience and he practices with the law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen.

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