The 4th of July always brings me fond memories of playing in sprinklers and having water balloon fights while the adults play volleyball and grill out, and then of course ending the day with an amazing and colorful display of fireworks. Even though this year a hot spell has delayed our dazzling neighborhood shows for awhile, it’s still a great time to spend with family and friends. I hope that you and your families have a good and safe time together celebrating today.
With this heat and the wild fires in Colorado, we know about the fire hazards that threaten our parched ground. But we are all about your home and below we’ve gathered some important information and tips to keep your home and your family safe from house fires.
Most home fire safety talks consist of making sure your stove is turned off and your smoke alarms are functioning properly. This is a good place to start, because the number one cause of a house fire is cooking. However, the number one cause for injury/death in a house fire is labeled unintentional or careless so, in addition to your stove/oven, always make sure that your other appliances are turned off, unplugged, and cooled down before you put them away. This includes everything from your toaster to your hair straightener. And if you’ve seen the Farmer’s Insurance commercial of the giant lint ball vs the flame thrower, you know more than 15,000 house fires a year are caused from dryer vents. Even though you use this appliance often it’s easy to forget about the maintenance it needs to work both efficiently and safely. Visit Dryer Vent Wizard to learn more about how to protect your home.
Hopefully you know about smoke alarms, but if you don’t here’s a video and an information page. (Actually even if you do know about smoke alarms the page is worth a look, not once did the fire safety talks at my school tell me there are two types of smoke alarms that detect different kinds of smoke!) If you don’t have smoke alarms in your home, at least one on every floor and outside sleeping areas, contact your local fire department. Some fire departments will come to your home to give you and install smoke alarms for free or at a discounted cost.
Now that we’ve covered those basics, did you know every year more than 3,500 Americans die in fires? Failure to have emergency escapes causes many of those deaths. Remember it only takes minuets for a house to be fully engulfed in flames. Make a plan today to help keep your family safe. Visit the U.S. Fire Administration for more details and download their free grid to design your fire escape route. (While the fire department is there installing your smoke alarms, ask them to look over your fire escape route.)
If you have children be sure they understand their part in your family’s plan. Talk them through it, help them draw their own diagram, walk them through the steps and practice your plan with them often. Let them know what the house might look/smell like if there was a fire. Of course you don’t want to scare your child, but you want to help them understand what will happen and what they should/shouldn’t do. Click here for the U.S. Fire Administration’s infant and toddler fire safety campaign.
The last fire hazard I want to tell you about are electrical fires not caused from the already listed appliances. Electrical fires take the lives of about 280 people and injure almost a 1,000 each year in America. Some important causes are old/aging wiring, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits. That means make sure that your TV, stereo, video game console, computer, etc are plugged in safely and don’t overload your circuits. Click here for information and tips. Also, as your home ages, its wiring can be damaged or wear out. Check out this article on This Old House about some wiring problems and fixes, but I recommend talking to an electrician first.
There is even more information on U.S. Fire Administration’s site. Here’s a link to all their home fire safety topics.
Be Advised, Not Surprised!
Tammy Nauman – 30
Chris Day – 8 Josh Anderson – 19 Mark Yeargin – 20
Julie Perkins – 21 Chrissy Kirkwood – 24
Alex Brandau – 2 Valencia Phillips – 20 Von Dotson – 24
Teresa Kidd – 29
Dan Elam – 2 Frank Miles – 2 Joi Sherrill – 4
Debra Waters – 8 Shelia Lunsford – 16 Jack Jernigan – 19
Anna Ashton – 21 Misty Sexton – 22
If your birthday isn’t listed, please let us know so we can celebrate it!