In the Event of Fire — GET OUT, STAY OUT!
October 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds last year.
As temperatures cool and heating sources are being fired up, it is especially important to think about fire safety in your home. Being prepared for a fire emergency is your family’s best plan to avoid a tragedy.
According to Pulaski Fire Chief Don Collins, there are several steps that every household can take to be prepared.
“Smoke detectors are number one,” Collins said. “Having them and keeping them in good working order is a priority for fire safety.”
Follow these tips for smoke alarms in your home:
• Have properly working smoke alarms.
• Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
• Place smoke alarms on each floor of your home and in each bedroom.
• Plan a family escape route and practice it once a month.
• Install a home sprinkler system.
• Place fire extinguishers throughout your home and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them.
“The number one cause of fires that we see in Pulaski are those associated with cooking in the home,” Collins said. “People put food on the stove and then walk away, leaving it unattended. Leaving it on high or hot grease — that starts a fire faster than you think.”
Giles County Fire and Rescue Chief Cory Medley agreed, noting “home fires are usually started in the kitchen.”
“With Thanksgiving coming up, people really need to be careful when cooking,” Medley said. “We see fires from turkey fryers as well — they are too close to the house.”
As the leaves begin to fall and cooler weather arrives, Collins issued a reminder about burning.
“There is NO burning inside the City of Pulaski of any kind: leaves or debris,” Collins said.
According to Medley, burning without a permit is allowed in the county May 15-Oct. 15, however, anyone inside the city limits of Elkton, Minor Hill or Lynnville should check with their City Hall for local regulations.
“Burning of gardens, pastures and fields is also something that can cause an emergency situation,” Medley reminded. “They can get away from you quickly and should never be left unattended.”
Other fire hazards Collins and Medley want you to look out for are open flames like candles. With Halloween right around the corner, battery powered candles are suggested for jack-o-lanterns and other decorations.
Another common cause of house fires is the clothes dryer, Collins said.
“You should never leave the dryer unattended with clothes in it and you should never overload your dryer,” Collins warned. “Keeping the lint trap clean and having the vent pipe cleared is the best way to protect your home from fire.”
After taking care of these preventative measures, if a fire should occur — GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
The American Red Cross is responding to 10 percent more home fires today than it was six years ago. Eighty percent of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation. Following these tips will help keep your home and family safe.