Fire Hazards in Your Home and in Your Grandchild’s Home
Fire Hazards and Facts About Fires
Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association–In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage. On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
- Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours.
- One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
- Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
If you have ever watched a structure burn you know it can be engulfed in flames quickly. My father owned a building that was struck by lightening and even though it was located not far from the fire station, they couldn’t save it. Fortunately, all the people were able to get out safely. That wasn’t the case in New York when 12 people were killed in an apartment fire because a toddler was playing with the burners on a stove.
Recently there have been several fires in our small community; some resulting in the family losing all their belongings. We need to be vigilant about fire safety in our homes and our grandchildren’s homes, so share this post with your children and ask them to make sure their homes have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
What You Need To Know
- Fires in the kitchen. Keep your stove top free of any flammable objects and keep a fire extinguisher handy. Don’t throw water on a grease fire…that’s what your fire extinguisher is for and if you have had yours for a long time, check the date and make sure it still works.
- Candles. We were at a Christmas party once and the hostess had a candle in the kitchen window. I happened to have to go to the bathroom (the party was in the basement) and when I came upstairs I saw that the kitchen curtains had caught fire. I was at the right place at the right time and we got the fire out with minor damage. If you use candles be very, very careful about where you place them.
- Space heaters. One in every six house fires is started by a space heater. We had wall heaters when I was a little girl and I know how easy it is to push something up close to a space heater and set it on fire.
- Carbon Monoxide Dangers. Household appliances, such as gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires which use gas, oil, coal and wood may be possible sources of CO gas. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when the fuel does not burn fully. If you have a gas oven it shouldn’t be used to heat your house. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can make you and your pets extremely sick (to the point of death). The CDC recommends a carbon monoxide alarm in every sleeping area of your house.
- Check your dryer daily. If you do a lot of laundry then your dryer will need lint removal daily. 9 our of 10 appliance fires are started by dryer.
- Get smoke alarms for every level of your house and change the batteries when you change your clocks. If you have elderly relatives who live alone remind them to do this or do it for them. My grandmother searched for months for a bird in her house until I finally figured out the batteries in her smoke alarm needed changing.
- Have a plan. Knowing about fire hazards isn’t enough. Suppose lightening strikes your home and you only have a short amount of time to get outside, do your children and grandchildren know what to do? Have a plan mapped out and then practice it. Don’t be fooled into thinking it can’t happen to you!
Have you ever had a house fire or known someone who has? Were there smoke detectors in the home?