After this past week’s tragedy, when seven innocent children were killed in a horrific fire, many people have called Councilman David Greenfield’s office asking about the best tips for fire prevention. Keep in mind, that while hot-plate fires are exceedingly rare (approximately one tenth of 1% of all fires), cooking-related fires are actually the leading cause of home fires. In fact, on average 43% of all fires are related to cooking equipment: stove-tops, regular ovens, and toaster ovens lead the list of items that start fires.
The following are twelve fire prevention tips compiled by Councilman Greenfield from the FDNY that will help keep your home safe. As always, the most important thing that you can do to keep your family safe is to have working smoke detectors on each floor. According to the FDNY, 75% of deaths in New York City fires occur in homes with no working smoke detectors.
- Install smoke detectors on every floor.Youmusthave at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home within 15 feet of all sleeping areas. Preferably, have one in each sleeping area.
- Change the batteries on your smoke detectors when you change the clock.33% of all homes have smoke detectors that don’t work. Remember, all smoke detectors must be replaced every 10 years.
- There are two types of smoke alarms: photo-electric and ionization. Have both.Ionization sensors are better at detecting fires withvery little smoke. Photo-electric sensors are better at detecting smoldering fires withheavy smoke.
- Install acarbon monoxide detector at home for the “silent killer.”This gas is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and very dangerous.
- Develop a fire escape plan.Protect your family and practice a home-fire escape plan. Know two ways out of your home and a meeting place outside to know everyone is out safely.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking.Never leave an open-flame/cooking surface unattended.
- Create a child-free zone of 3 feet around your oven.To make sure children do not get hurt, let them know that they may not go near the stove.
- Keep the area around the stove/blech clearof holders, paper, or anything that can catch on fire.
- When burning candles, make sure they are out-of-reach from curtains and on sturdy tables.Always place candles at least four feet away from any objects. Keep candles away from curtains, draperies, blinds, cabinets, and beddings.
- Ask your Rov if you may use a timer on your electric hot plate so that it’son only during meals.Only use heavy-duty grounded timers.
- If smoke is present, exit as low to the ground as possible and cover your mouth.Too much smoke inhalation will cause suffocation and death.
- Don’t fight the fire. In the event of a fire, get out of the house immediately and stay out. Then call 911.