MCFRS News Release
Have an Escape Plan - Get Out Alive and Uninjured
Injury and fire loss increase an average 61% and 43% respectively
Typically the winter months of December, January and February are the busiest in terms of emergency fire responses for area fire and rescue departments. These months appear to be the deadliest, as well. Recent fires have often been the result of food left cooking unwatched, candles left burning unattended, combustibles too close to a heating system, discarded smoking materials, misplaced fireplace ashes and a malfunction with heating systems. Later this month, dried out Christmas trees and other holiday decorations could pose an additional fire hazard this time of year, too. Improperly discarded smoking materials, careless smoking and unattended cooking have been the primary cause of this year’s fire deaths. Many of these fires can be prevented.
It is important that all residents know to have a working smoke alarm on each level of a home, have an escape plan (know how to get out quickly) and call the fire department from a safe area, preferably a neighbor’s house.
Dangerous time of year –
- The few days prior to Christmas and the day after (December 24 thru December 26), according to the United States Fire Administration, deaths, injuries and fire loss increase an average 50%, 61% and 43% respectively.
- It is estimated that there are Christmas trees in over one-third of all households at this time of year. These fires cause an annual national average of 250 injuries and 40 fatalities.
- The typical ignition scenario involves shorted electrical lights or exposure to an open flame, such as a candle.
- Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or going to sleep. Keep candles well away from items that can catch fire, such as flammable decorations, clothing, books, paper, curtains, etc.
- Keep candles up high, out of reach, and where they can not be knocked over by children or pets. Remember: A candle is an open flame. It can easily ignite any combustible nearby!
- Be careful with discarded smoking materials. Place ashes in receptacles
- Do not smoke if drowsy.
- Remember never discard hot fireplace ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house and all other combustibles.
- Give space heaters space. Keep young children safely away from space heaters -- especially when they are wearing nightgowns or other loose clothing that can be easily ignited.
- If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. If you must use an extension cord, only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry the amp load.
- Always Remember! If a fire starts in your home GET OUT and call 911 IMMEDIATELY closing the door to the room on fire as you go! DO NOT DELAY as fire doubles in size every minute! GET OUT – STAY OUT!