The second week of October marks Fire Prevention Week. The date is especially significant as Fire Prevention Safety week was created in remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire that killed over 250 people and left hundreds of thousands without a home. This year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has chosen the theme “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.™” While fire safety applies to any location, this year’s theme wants to draw a particular focus on fire safety in the home.
A startling majority of fatalities due to burns and fires take place with one’s residence. In 2016, the death rate from fire was 10% higher than it was in 1980. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fires and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional injury fatalities in the U.S. Knowledge is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Our burn injury lawyer wants you to know how to prepare your family and keep them safe in the case of a fire.
Steps Towards Fire Prevention and Safety
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme aims to educate the public on simple, but crucial, steps to not only reduce the risk of a fire starting, but also to ensure that you know what to do in case one does indeed break out. These three steps are:
- Look for common areas that can catch fire
- Listen for emergency signal, especially smoke alarms
- Learn at least two ways out of any room you enter
The first step of this year’s theme involves identifying common places within the home that could catch fire. While anywhere in your home could potentially catch fire, some areas are more prone to this than others. These include:
- The kitchen
- Fireplaces and chimneys
- Laundry room
Additionally, appliances such as microwaves, stoves, ovens, dryers, and toaster ovens have been known to easily ignite. Fires from these appliances can result from faulty wiring, blown fuses, worn out cords, and flammable objects placed too close. The device could also have a defect that stems back to the manufacturer making it more prone to ignition. In cases like these, a reliable burn injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation from injuries suffered from defective cookware or other appliances.
According to the American Red Cross, you might only have two minutes to safely escape a fire. Being aware of a fire as soon as possible after it starts can mean difference between successful evacuation and tragedy. This is why installing and maintaining functioning smoke alarms is such a monumentally important step in fire safety.
A smoke alarm should be replaced completely if it is more than 10 years old. Test the batteries in the smoke alarms on a monthly basis and do not hesitate to replace them when needed. Be sure they are present in every bedroom of your house, as well as the hallways outside the bedrooms. It’s it is a multi-story house, ensure that smoke alarms are present on every floor, including the basement.
Make sure that everyone in your family recognizes the sound of the smoke alarm and takes the alert seriously. This is especially important for young children. They can sleep through the beeping of the smoke detector if they are not aware that it signals danger.
Having an escape plan for your own house may seem silly, but if a fire breaks out, knowing how to quickly get outside can save your life and your family. Plan an evacuation route with everyone in your family. Identify the usual exits, such as the front and back doors, and come up with new ones to use in case the formerly mentioned exits are blocked. Know at least two ways out of any room in the house and ensure the doors and windows are clear and open easily for escape.
Keep in mind that smoke and adrenaline can lead to disorientation and confusion even in one’s own home. Practicing your evacuation plan with your family can help make escape actions second nature, especially for small children. Have a designated “meet up spot” a safe distance away from the house that all house members are aware of.
According to NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy Lorraine Carli, “People take safety for granted and are not aware of the risk of fire. Paying attention to your surroundings, looking for available exits in the event of a fire or other emergency, and taking the smoke alarm seriously if it sounds can make a potentially life-saving difference in a fire or other emergency situation.”
A Caring Burn Injury Lawyer on Your Side
Negligence is another common cause of burn injuries and fires. If your or a loved one has suffered pain and injury due to someone else’s lack of due care, reach out to our team at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. Our burn injury lawyer will take the time needed to identify the available paths to compensation. You can rely on our team to carefully examine all relevant factors to expose the truth.
Our offices are open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. However, we are always available to answer your call, anytime, at 844-977-1900. You can also reach out to us online via our convenient LiveChat feature. Best of all, we offer free consultations and you won’t have to bother yourself with worries of fees or payments until we have reached a successful conclusion to your case.