By John Voket, RISMedia Consumer Confidant
In the next installment of our October focus on fire prevention, I have tapped the National Fire Protection Association for some potentially life-saving fire safety tips.
In a previous segment, the NFPA reported that cooking fires caused an estimated average of 2,590 civilian deaths and $7.2 billion in direct property damage yearly. And based on research by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), cooking was also the number one cause of home structure fires that went unreported.
We also learned that Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths followed by heating equipment and then cooking equipment. So consider following these words of advice from the NFPA:
- 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 locked cabinet.
- 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.
- 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 your smoke alarms at least once a month and replace conventional 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.
Homeowners can get more detailed information about each of the above prevention tips by visiting the NFPA’s website at http://www.nfpa.org.