Little Stephen was playing in the hall near the kitchen when his mother turned on the oven to start dinner. Moments later the smoke alarm began blaring. There was no fire, but drippings on the oven floor caused a good deal of smoke. Some open windows cleared the smoke quickly, but not before the frightened 4-year-old ran and hid in a second-floor closet. Education is the first rule of fire prevention. Make sure you kids don’t panic and hide when they see or smell fire.
Statistically, Fire Prevention Starts with Protecting Your Babies & Your Parents
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 3,362 people died as a result of a fire in 2015, with residential fires causing the most fatalities. Young children and the elderly at the most risk. While Stephen’s parents quickly realized that their son needed to learn about fire safety and formulated a family fire evacuation plan, many U.S. households do not. Many who have a plan never practice. You could have a mere two minutes to get out of your home to safety when a smoke alarm goes off, making a fire exit plan that is rehearsed by your family crucial.
One Escape Path From Fire is Not Enough – The Minimum is Two Ways Out
“Every Second Counts:: Have Two Ways Out” is the theme of the 2017 National Fire Protection Week, which kicked off on Sunday. Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) since its inception in 1922, Fire Protection Week is a national campaign to give the public up-to-date information about fire prevention and safety. This year’s theme is intended to educate the public of the importance of an exit plan in the event of a fire. Statistically, the majority of house fires occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Having a plan in place when the smoke detectors jolts you out of a sound sleep can mean the difference between life and death. Map out your home, make sure windows open easily and make sure everyone has two ways out, whether it be a door or a window.
Preschool children like Stephen can be frightened by the noise of a smoke detector. Practicing a family plan, so they know what to do if the smoke detector goes off can allay their fears. Even toddlers can be taught to stay low and follow a plan, even if they have to do so without mom and dad. Importantly, they also need to understand they should never hide from firefighters.
Don’t Let Your Kids Be A Statistic – Educate Them
The NFPA has videos and other fire prevention materials that focus on the needs of children, while the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has teamed up with Sesame Street to produce fire safety programs for preschoolers. Those over the age of 65 are also at a higher risk of perishing in a fire. Practicing an escape plan, keeping pathways clear and space heaters away from combustibles are important to anyone, especially those who might not be able to move quickly. Seniors should test their smoke alarms to make sure they can hear them. Special smoke alarms that use strobe lights are available for those who are hard-of-hearing. Keeping eyeglasses, hearing aids, walkers and a phone near the bed is also a safe practice.
Develop A Fire Prevention Escape Plan
Keeping yourself and your family safe in the event of a fire is up to you. Start by drawing up and practicing a fire escape plan. Make sure smoke alarms are placed on each floor, including the basement, and in each bedroom or sleeping area. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year and test all smoke detectors monthly. Delco Alarm Systems takes your security and fire safety seriously. Please contact us if you require additional information or would like a quote on a fire alarm system.