Fire prevention week is the perfect time to plan and practice escape from a home fire. More than a third of heads of households estimated they would have at least six minutes to escape a fire.
This is not so according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The time is often much less and survival may depend on your decision to get out of the home immediately.
NFPA suggests the following when making an escape plan for your family:
In the event of small fires, make sure there is a working fire extinguisher available and make sure everyone knows how to use it. To learn more about fire extinguishers and how to use them, please click here.
Because we are safety oriented, we have built our infrastructure and environments so that fire isn't an every day threat. That may be why fire drills can often seem to be an annoying interruption to a day's activities. But ignoring the occasional, albeit annoying, fire drill can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Regardless of where a fire starts, the key is knowing how to escape a building. In office buildings and plants it is essential to have open exits and essential that people know where they are. There are many tragic stories of locked doors, obstructed exits, and no fire plan.
One example involved a food products company when oil from a hydraulic line leaked out a few feet from a natural gas-fired cooker. The blaze blew up instantly, trapping workers who could not get out of locked or obstructed doors. Out of 90 employees, 25 died and an additional 54 were injured. No fire suppression system was in place and exits were far from work stations.
Although the above example was an exceptionally tragic case, blocked exits and locked doors are possible to find in any location. Usually,these situations are easy to remedy and all it takes is a fire-safety attitude which definitely includes regular fire drills.
Most residential fires begin in the kitchen and usually occur between 5 and 8 pm when cooking is most common.
In non-residential buildings, the threat of fire is highest during working hours, occurring most frequently from 3pm to 6 pm. In workplace cases where the blaze is not contained, the most common areas for fires to occur are in vehicle storage areas or other storage areas. Electrical malfunctions and cooking areas follow closely as areas of ignition.
An estimated 86,500 nonresidential building fires are reported to United States fire departments each year. These fires cause an estimated 85 deaths, 1,325 injuries, and $2.6 billion in property losses per year.
Fire Prevention Week is a good time to remind family members and friends of the importance of prevention when it comes to surviving a fire.
Wherever you are, be aware of the location of exits. Practice fire drills in the home and realize the importance of fire drills whenever and wherever they occur.
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