Residents can take simple steps to keep their homes, families safe

| October 6, 2011 | 0 Comments
Angela Sanders
Federal Fire Department

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — According to the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, more than 384,000 home fires were reported in the U.S. in 2010 — which means, making a good offense is your best defense.

The Federal Fire Department is partnering with NFPA, Oct. 9-15, to let the community know “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!”

This year’s theme focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires: cooking, heating and electrical equipment, candles and smoking materials.

Additionally, the campaign urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

In 2010, more than 2,660 people died in home fires. Nearly all of those deaths could have been prevented with a few simple precautions, like having working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan, and keeping things that can burn away from the stove.

Fire is a dangerous opponent, but by anticipating the hazards, you are less likely to be one of the nearly 17,720 people injured in home fires each year.

The Federal Fire Dept. offers the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:

•Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

•Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or a portable space heater.

•Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

•Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.

•Smoke outside and use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.

•Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

Preventing home fires in military family housing is the Federal Fire Dept.’s No. 1 priority. Military residents, however, are the best protection, and they need to be responsible and keep their homes and families safe in the event of a fire.

Safety includes having an escape plan, which should be practiced regularly, and it involves equipping homes with life-saving devices like smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.

The following tips will help keep your family safe if a fire starts in your home:

•Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement.

•Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home, so when one sounds, they all sound.

•Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year.

•Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old, or sooner, if they do not respond when tested.

•Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.

•Gather your household and make an evacuation plan. Walk through your home and inspect all the possible ways out. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of the home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.

•If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.

Fire Prevention Week

The Federal Fire Dept. is hosting “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” activities:

•Oct. 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.,

Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange.

•Oct. 13, 4-8 p.m., Schofield Barracks’ Kalakaua Community Center.

•Oct. 14, 4-8 p.m.,

Marine Corps Base-Kaneohe’s Mokapu Mall.

To find more programs and activities, call 471-3303, ext. 617; email; or visit


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Category: News, Observances, Safety

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