Fire Safety 101: Simple Tips to Help Prevent Fires in the Home
Cold temperatures, holiday decorations, storms, candles and space heaters all most likely played a role in the increased number of fires reported so far this year, according to the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration. In fact, the American Red Cross claims that in the first nine days of 2018 alone, it responded to nearly 60 percent more home fires than in 2017.
After a home fire, a Red Cross volunteer is often among the first on the scene—offering emotional support, helping those affected find a place to stay and assisting with recovery. As of January 9, the Red Cross had already opened 4,400 cases to help a total of 12,500 people get back on their feet after home fires in 2018.
The Red Cross advises homeowners to follow these tips to help prevent fires at home:
- Keep all potential sources of fuel—paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs—at least three feet away from sources of heat.
- Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended.
- Place space heaters on a level, hard and nonflammable surface. Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Look for space heaters that shut off automatically if they are to fall over.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen.
To help combat the devastating effects of home fires, the Red Cross launched its Home Fire Campaign in 2014, focusing on installing free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching people about fire safety. Since the start of the campaign, the Red Cross and partners have installed more than 1 million smoke alarms and have helped save 332 lives.
Source: American Red Cross
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