County gives advice on preventing fires
FONDA — In 2016, there were 1,342,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,390 civilian deaths, 14,650 civilian injuries, and $10.6 billion in property damage.
Homes should be a safe and comfortable place and people can help keep it fire safe by following these prevention tips, according to a news release from the Montgomery County Department of Health:
∫ Stay warm–safely. If and when they use a space heater, keep it at least three feet away from anything that can catch on fire, like draperies, clothing, bedding or upholstered furniture and turn off heater when sleeping or leaving the room. Space heater whether portable or stationary accounted for one third of home heating fires.
∫ Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional. Creosote is a sticky, oily combustible substance created when wood does not burn completely. It rises into the chimney as a liquid and deposits on the chimney wall, which has the potentially to cause a chimney fire.
∫ Cook with care. When cooking, never leave cooking food unattended on the stove. Keep anything that can catch on fire, like potholders and towels, away from the cooking area. Do not use the oven or stove top to heat the home.
∫ If smoking, attempt to quit. Don’t smoke inside the home. If homeowners do smoke in the home, never smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended.
∫ Be alarmed. Install smoke alarms on every floor of the home, including the basement, and make sure to have smoke alarms near all sleeping rooms. For better protection, install smoke alarms in sleeping rooms, especially if they are occupied by a smoker. For best protection test all smoke alarms once a month.
∫ Make and practice an escape plan. Create a home fire escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and have a meeting place outside. Practice the escape plan twice a year with everyone living in the home.
In New York state, fire related injuries are among the ten leading causes of death. Those at highest risk for home fire deaths and injuries include some of the most vulnerable citizens: children younger than 5, adults 65 and over, and people with physical disabilities.
Keep the home fire safe and protect yourself.