Please bring out the family to Flourtown Fire Company’s annual Fire Prevention Open House, Monday, October 7 from 6 – 8 PM. We’ll have food, demonstrations, and equipment tours of all we offer the community.
We also have some fire prevention tips for you, see you Monday night, we look forward to seeing you:
- Two out of every 5 home fires start in the kitchen.
- Unattended cooking was a factor in 34%o of reported home cooking fires.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Children under the age of 5 face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.
- The leading factor contributing to heating fires was failure to clean, creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- Portable or fixed space heaters were involved in one-third of home heating fires and four out of five home heating deaths
- Half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to products that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, or bedding
- In recent years, heating has become the 2nd leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and injuries.
- During 2007-2011 smoking materials caused an estimated 17,900 home structure fires, resulting in 580 deaths, 1,280 injuries and $509 million in direct property damage
- Sleep was a factor in one-third of the home smoking material fire deaths
- Possible alcohol impairment was a factor in one in five of home smoking fire deaths
- Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires in half
- Hardwired alarms operated 92% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 77% of the time
Info compiled by Flourtown Firefighter Jim Belcher via NFPA
Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires resulted in 21 deaths and 43 injuries.
Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles, and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home. Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by decorations or trees. Help ensure that you have a fire safe holiday season.
What’s a traditional Christmas morning scene without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person’s suggestion – “Keep the tree watered.”
Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be.
Selecting a Tree for the Holidays
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
Holiday LightsMaintain Your Holiday Lights
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.
Do not leave holiday lights on unattended!
Holiday DecorationsUse Only Nonflammable Decorations
All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
Do not Block Exits
Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk.
Never Put Wrapping Paper in the Fireplace
Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.
Candle CareAvoid Using Lit Candles
If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.
Never leave the house with candles burning.
Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree
Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.
As in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call for help, and remember to practice your home escape plan!
Flourtown Fire Company will hold its annual Fire Prevention Open House on:
Friday, October 5, 2012
6 PM – 8 PM
At the firehouse, 1526 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, PA 19031
Scooby Doo, along with all your volunteer firefighter and fire police will be on hand to demonstrate equipment, answer questions and discuss how your family can practice fire safety.
It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That’s why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan. This year’s theme,“Have 2 Ways Out!”, focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
Please join us for this annual event with the community, for more information on fire prevention see www.fpw.org
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire company arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely.
- Use a portable extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; someone has called the fire company; and the room is not filled with smoke
- To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS
-Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
–Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
–Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
–Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
- For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire
- Read the instructions that come with the extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors offer hands- on fire extinguisher trainings.
- Install fire extinguishers close to an exit
- Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household and business should have a fire escape plan and working smoke detectors
Information compiled by firefighter Jim Belcher