Every October is National Fire Prevention Month, and most fire departments, as well as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), have Fire Prevention Week the second week in October. Fire Prevention Month helps raise awareness about fire safety in and out of your home, and helps you and your family be prepared in the event a fire starts so you know how to handle it.
How National Fire Prevention Week Began
Fire Prevention Week initially started to observe the Great Chicago Fire, which killed more than 250 people and burned more than 2,000 acres of land, leaving over 100,000 people homeless. The fire started on October 8, 1871 and continued throughout the night and the entire next day. This is why Fire Prevention Week is held the week of October 9. In 1911, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (now referred to as the International Fire Marshals Association) determined that instead of just observing the memory of the Great Chicago Fire, it should be an opportunity to inform people about fire prevention.
How Do Most House Fires Start?
From 2012-2016, there was an average of 355,400 home structure fires, which caused an average of 2,560 fire-related deaths and 11,670 fire injuries.
The main contribution to house fires was the failure to properly clean creosote (a wood preservative) from heating equipment, mostly chimneys.
Portable or permanent space heaters, including wooden stoves, were another major cause of house fires (32%).
Heating equipment, such as space heaters, placed too close to things that can catch fire easily. Items such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, bedding, or drapes can all catch fire very quickly and spread fast.
Heating appliances in the home, such as a clothes dryer, can quickly become clogged and overheat.
How Can You Prevent A House Fire?
Have your chimney professionally cleaned after each winter season, and throughout the winter months if you use it regularly.
Place space heaters away from furniture, clothing, mattresses, bedding, and drapes. The best place is on a solid surface like a tile or laminate floor.
Make sure that you remove lint from the lint trap in your dryer before or after each load of laundry. Read our recent blog, Why It’s Important to Have Your Dryer Vent Cleaned Yearly, for tips on having your dryer vent cleaned.
Vacuum around and behind the dryer where lint can collect.
Don’t store anything near or behind the dryer that can catch fire.
To prevent clothes from catching fire after they are dry, don’t leave items in the dryer, especially while it is still hot.
Five Star is always available to help you keep your home safe and healthy. Contact us for any plumbing, heating & air, electrical, insulation, and indoor air quality needs. We are here for you 24/7/365.