Key Fire Safety Tips
from "A Reporter's Guide to Fire and the NFPA"
In 2006, there were 1,642,500 fires reported in the United States (up 3% from 2005). These fires caused 3,245 civilian deaths, 16,400 civilian injuries, 89 firefighter deaths, and $11.3 billion in property damage. Many home fires are preventable. If you’re working on a story about a fire in your community, feel free to include NFPA's key fire safety tips in your article:
- Watch your cooking
Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- Give space heaters space
Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Smoke outside
Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach
Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.
- Inspect electrical cords
Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.
- Be careful when using candles
Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Have a home fire escape plan
Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
- Install smoke alarms
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Test smoke alarms
Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
- Install sprinklers
If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.
Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA®). www.nfpa.org