Each year, more than 2,500 people die in fires, most of them in residential occupancies.
National Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14 this year and the theme is “Every Second Counts – Plan Two Ways Out!” and the Fire Service throughout the country will be working to emphasize fire safety awareness as will the New Canaan Fire Department.
Firefighters will be visiting schools throughout town giving demonstrations on how to stay fire safe. Also, school groups will be touring the fire house to learn about how the fire fighters live, train and work.
The kitchen is the most common room in the home for a fire to start—usually related to cooking however, unsafe ash disposal is also a reoccurring problem.
Following is a list of general fire safety tips to help stay safe at home:
- First and foremost, have smoke detectors installed on each level of the home and inside of each sleeping room and make sure they have fresh batteries at least once per year. If over 10 years old, they should be replaced.
- If a pot on the stove catches fire, turn off the burner and cover with the lid or a cookie sheet to smother the fire. Never try to carry the pot to the sink or outside and never use water.
- Have a home escape plan and hold fire drills to make sure all family members are familiar with the plan.
- Never overload outlets and never use extension cords in place of permanent wiring. With today’s multitude of electronic devises, older homes may need additional outlets installed.
- Check cords on appliances for any signs of damage and replace if necessary.
- If you have an automatic fire alarm system, have it serviced by a certified alarm company at least once each year.
- Have heating systems cleaned/serviced each year to insure continued safe (and efficient) operation.
- Install CO (carbon monoxide) detectors on each level of your home to protect you and your family for the “silent killer”.
- CO and smoke detectors that are over ten years old should be replaced as they have reached the end of their life expectancy.
- Have a proper, metal container, with lid, for safe ash disposal.
Also, a “courtesy home inspection” is available to residents. A representative from the Fire Marshal’s Office will visit your home and review fire safety in your home. There is no cost for this visit.
To schedule a home visit or, for questions regarding these, or any, fire safety topics please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 594-3030.