Recognize October as Fire Prevention Month

October has long been fire prevention month to me. The reason I like to use October to raise the awareness of fire prevention primarily in the home. If awareness is raised at the same time each year people learn the habit of preventing fires. I emphasize fire prevention because fires kill people. The Federal Emergency Management Association reports that 1592 civilian home fire fatalities reported by U.S. news media between January 1, 2017, and October 10, 2017 (Home, 2017). The actual cause of these fires can be found by entering information at https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/civilian-fatalities/incident/reportMap. I also like to use the local Fire Department to help provide information for the employees of the organization I am working for. Furthermore, I use the U.S. Fire Administration site at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/.

The primary tool to prevent deaths from fire is for every home to have smoke detectors installed. I always push for installing smoke detectors in homes that don’t have them. Put it simply working smoke detectors save lives in the event of a fire.  Three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties with no or no working smoke alarms (Ahrens, 2017). The National Fire Protection Association has a program titled Planning & Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program that you can download from              file:///C:/Users/frede/Downloads/Smoke%20Alarm%20Installation%20Guide.pdf. I encourage you to download this program and try to get a program working in your community.

When smoke detectors are installed they won’t help if they don’t work. I emphasize installing new batteries and testing in October. This again gets people in the habit of installing new batteries. There is normally a button on the detector that tests its operation. If the detector with charged batteries doesn’t sound an alarm when this button is pushed the detector must be replaced.

Another element I like to emphasize during October is developing and practicing an escape plan from the home. The National Fire Protection Association provides information to help with this task that can be accessed at http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Safety-in-the-home/Escape-planning/Basic-fire-escape-planning. It essential for everyone living in a home to understand how to get out of the home and where to meet nearby to ensure everyone is safe. This can be more difficult for families living in multi-family buildings. It is however just as important. Once a fire escape plan is developed it must be tested to ensure it works. Afterwards, families should practice there escape plan twice a year.

The loss of life is always terrible, but it can be worse in a situation where that loss of life could have been prevented. The loss of life in many fires can be prevented by installing and maintaining smoke detectors as well as developing and practicing a fire escape. Each October take the time to emphasize fire safety knowing that lives can be saved by the effort.

Bibliography

Home Fire Fatalities in the News retrieved on October 19, 2017, from  https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/civilian-fatalities/incident/reportMap.

Ahrens, Mary, Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires September 2015 retrieved on October 10, 2017, from http://www.mysmokealarmla.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ossmokealarms.pdf

 

About Fred Fanning Author

Fred Fanning currently writes biweekly on his blog fredefanningauthor.com. His published works include the peer-reviewed book Basic Safety Administration-A Handbook for the New Safety Specialist. Fred also authored two editions of the peer-reviewed chapter Safety Training and Documentation Principles that was published in the bestselling Safety Professional Handbook and the Safety Professional Handbook Management Applications. He coauthored the peer-reviewed chapter Safety Training with Christine Fiori, Ph.D., PE, published in the bestselling Construction Safety Management and Engineering, second edition edited by Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP. Fred also has several self-published books. He has a series called Fred’s Safety Shorts. This is a collection of twelve books on topics related to safety published with Kindle Direct Publishing. Fred self-published another six books using both CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and Kindle Direct Publishing. He has authored fifty-eight articles in various publications on the topics of safety and health and project management. Fred has earned several writing awards for his non-fiction work. Fred has one novel A Walk Among the Dead. He is working on his second Mystery at Devil’s Elbow.
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