October 4-10 is Fire Prevention Week, and this year's theme is "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned." Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the focus of this year's Fire Prevention Week activities is on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires. Last Friday, President Obama signed a proclamation designating Fire Prevention Week. In his proclamation, the president highlighted several steps Americans can take to reduce fire tragedies and burn incidents, including–
- Remain attentive while cooking
- Properly dispose of all smoking materials
- Regularly check and replace smoke alarm batteries
- Form an emergency plan and educate children about the proper ways to handle potentially dangerous situations with fire
- Avoid severe burns by testing water temperature, remaining aware of open flames, and ensuring that heating elements (such as those in electric stoves, toasters, hair appliances, and space heaters) are secure and operated properly
Additional home fire safety tips are available in NEMA's brochure, Is Your Home's Fire Safety Up to Date?,which also provides recommendations for other life safety measures such as the installation of carbon monoxide detection devices.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), "each year, home electrical fires in the United States are responsible for over 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and more than $1.4 billion in property damage. And fire is not the only danger. Thousands of children and adults are critically injured and electrocuted from accidents in their homes annually." Recognizing these dangers, ESFI promotes the value of technology such as arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and tamper resistant receptacles (TRR), which are designed to prevent tragedy before it occurs. The 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) has recognized the value of this technology by increasing requirements for AFCI and TRR protection in all new homes. Please visit ESFI's Fire Prevention Week website for more information.
Stay fire smart…don't get burned.