Tuesday, September 29, 2009

National Fire Prevention Week 2009

Mark your calendars! October 4-10, 2009, is National Fire Prevention Week. This year's focus is on "burn awareness and prevention". You can read tips & tweets about this year's campaign on Twitter.

According to the National Fire Protection Association website, "home fires account for 83 percent of all civilian fire deaths." That's an interesting statistic. It suggests that even though raging wildlifes make national news, you are more at risk from a fire in your home. Fortunately, there are many simple things that you can do to reduce your risk of having a home fire.

* NFPA recommends that you check your smoke alarms monthly. Do they work properly? Do they need new batteries? Do you have one on every floor? Multiple alarms should be interconnected, so that if one sounds an alarm, they all sound.

* Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, according to NFPA. Don't leave your stove unattended when you are making dinner. Never pour water on a grease fire! (Yikes, there are some very scary videos on YouTube of what happens if you do.) If you can do it safely, turn off the burner and cover the burning pan with a lid or a wet cloth.

* Make sure that your home isn't at risk for a fire. Hunt for Home Fire Hazards and then complete NFPA's Fire Inspection Checklist or, if you have a younger child, color this Five Steps to Fire Safety coloring sheet. (The checklist and coloring page are .pdf files).

* Develop a home escape plan and practice it regularly with your family. NFPA even has this nice grid so that you can draw out your floorplan.

Stay fire safe! Don't be like this guy:

NFPA has lesson plans about fire safety for kids in grades K-6. Scholastic has a nice summary of this material on their website. And be sure to visit Sparky the Fire Dog® for some fun and games!

No comments: