The National Fire Protection Association gives reminders on how to protect against fires during Fire Prevention Week every October.
continued The best way to protect against fire is one everyone should already know: place smoke detectors in the home and check them regularly.
But what about when the detector sounds? Families are advised to have an escape plan ready and practiced, including setting an outside meeting place a safe distance from the house.
Fire Week also comes at a time of year when the number of home fires spikes as heating equipment kicks on for the winter.
“We see the majority of fire occurring in December, January and February. That tends to be associated with a number of heating fires,” Carli said.
Overall, heating equipment is the second leading source of home fires and home fire deaths. How you protect yourself against a winter fire depends on how you heat your home.
Perhaps the most deadly form of heating equipment fire is one from a space heater. These are common, Carli said, because the heat source is near potentially flammable materials and also close to the user, so when something catches fire it can be a danger quickly.
For fireplace users, homeowners should check their chimneys for creosote, a flammable substance that builds up over time. It can eventually go up in flames, starting a fire in the chimney that would then spread.
Additionally, many residential heating systems carry the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Homeowners should install CO alarms in addition to their smoke detectors to monitor for the deadly gas, which is invisible and odorless.
Locally, most fire departments will do something special for Fire Prevention Week. The Delmar Fire Department will be tying a special open house commemorating the organization’s 100th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 1-4 p.m.
There will be a series of fire safety demonstrations, including a live fire demonstration. The department’s newest fire engine, Engine 21, will also be unveiled.
For more information on Fire Prevention Week and safety tips, visit nfpa.org.