Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was joined today by Nassau County and Suffolk County Fire Marshals, Kidde residential fire safety products representatives and Nassau County Firefighters Museum Fire Safety Experts as he proclaimed October Fire Prevention Month. County Executive Mangano urges residents to take simple steps to protect their families from fires and other emergencies.
“Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere,” said County Executive Mangano. “While first responders are critical in fighting and responding to fires, our best tool for preventing fires is through education and awareness. To protect your family, residents should ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are placed and working properly.”
According to statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2011 fire departments throughout the nation responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage. On average, seven people died in home fires per day from 2007 to 2011. Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths. Most fatal fires kill one or two people. In 2012, 8 home fires killed five or more people resulting in a total of 44 deaths. Deaths could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions, such as having operational smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan, keeping things that can burn away from the stove and always turning off space heaters before going to bed.
County Executive Mangano offers the following tips:
Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with your family. Make a map of your home and mark at least two doors and windows that can be used to get out of every room.
Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped.
Stay in the kitchen while you are 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 portable space heater.
Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
If you smoke, smoke outside.
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.
Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.
Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.
Test all smoke alarms monthly and replace them immediately if they do not respond when tested.
Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.
If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week, please visit: http://www.nfpa.org