This Sunday Oct 9th starts the commemoration of Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!”. Did you know that in 2010 there were 384,000 residential fires, 2,665 home fire deaths, 13,800 home fire injuries and that 85% of fire deaths as a whole occurred in the home? These statistics were recently released by the National Fire Protection Association (The NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety).
Several fire companies across Harford County will be hosting open houses during the next few weeks, many of which are listed below. These are excellent opportunities for you and your family to learn more about fire safety first hand. There will be live fire and rescue demonstrations to watch and equipment and stations on display. Firefighters will also be available to answer your questions and help you with any fire safety concerns you may have. If you can’t make it to an open house remember you can stop by your community volunteer fire station anytime and ask for a tour of the station and equipment.
Jarrettsville VFC – Oct 9, 11a-3p
Darlington VFC - Oct. 9, 9a-12p
Fallston VFAC – Oct 9, 10a-3p
Bel Air VFC – Oct 15, 11a-3p
Abingdon VFC – Oct 23, 12p-4p
Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association President Bill Dousa says, “The fire safety of the citizens of Harford County is our number one concern. It is vitally important that everyone take the time to check their smoke alarms and have a plan of escape in the unfortunate event a fire would occur in their home. Please take the time to review our safety tips with your family. It could make the difference between life and death.”
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
• Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
• If you smoke, smoke outside and properly dispose of your waste.
• When you remove ashes from your fireplace or grill dispose of them in approved containers and leave them at a safe distance from your home.
• Extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
• Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement). Remember the hearing impaired family members. There are a variety of systems available to help them.
• Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.
• Test smoke alarms at least monthly and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond when tested.
• Make an escape plan. Walk through your home with your family and inspect all possible ways out. Most important practice your escape plans!
• If you are building or remodeling your home install residential fire sprinklers. Don’t let the builder tell you otherwise! These devices are less expensive than upgrading your carpet. Read this small article to learn more about them. http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/sprinklers/