With the national news focus on the blaze in Oakland and recent fire incidents closer to home, we wanted to share some resources out there that promote fire awareness and safety. This is especially pertinent given that the holiday season is upon us and families are gathering and spending a great deal of time in the kitchen.
One of the best resources out there is the American Red Cross Fire Prevention . This checklist outlines many steps you can take now to prevent fires in your home, for example:
Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food. Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire—like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing— away from the stove.
- Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area.
The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.
The checklist also gives tips on how to practice fire safety at home (in terms of smoke detectors and fire alarms, etc.) and what should be done in case a fire occurs in your home (with respect to fire extinguishers and evacuation plans). While many of these tips and practices might seem obvious to some folks, they are simply not obvious to everyone (and, knowing this, local fire officials consistently make efforts to promote knowledge and awareness):
For more information, please check out the following resources in addition to those mentioned above:
- American Red Cross
- National Fire Protection Association
- U.S. Fire Administration
- Oregon State Police - Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
- Washington State Patrol - Office of the State Fire Marshal
Be well and be safe!