The president of the United States of America released a statement declaring Oct. 9 through Oct. 15 as Fire Prevention Week. During this time, the American flag will be flown at half-staff at all federal office buildings in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.
More than 1 million fires occur each year in the United States, according to the proclamation given by the president. Here are five ways that you can prevent fires:
- Caution when cooking— The number one cause of home fires is from cooking, according to hanoverfire.com. Whenever cooking with oil, never leave the stove unattended. To stop a grease fire, don’t pour water on the fire. Instead, turn off the burner and place a lid on the pan to suffocate the flames, or pour baking soda on the fire, according to cooperators.ca.
- Remove the lint from your dryer filter after every use— Too much lint in your dryer reduces the airflow needed to keep heat from building up in the vents and forces lint onto the heating coils, which will result in fire. Always clean out your lint filter after every use, according to cooperators.ca.
- Smoke Alarm Testing— Test your smoke alarms every month. If the smoke alarms aren’t working, change the batteries, according to redcross.org. Dead batteries cause one-quarter of all smoke alarm failures. You must replace your smoke alarms every 10 years, according to nfpa.org.
- Electrical wiring— Check extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs. Also overloading extension cords or outlets can cause electrical fires, according to ekcjfd.com. Electrical blankets should be carefully rolled up, to not damage the internal wiring. Always unplug electrical blankets when you get into bed, according to h2ofiresprinklers.co.uk.
- Caution with Candles— One-third of home candle fires start in bedrooms, according to nfpa.org. Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that burns, and always blow out candles when going to bed or leaving a room. Use candle holders that are sturdy, and light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame, according to nfpa.org.