Home Fire Safety, Part 1 (Public Service Announcement)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires in the home claimed 4,335 lives in 1991. In addition, home fires caused over 20,000 injuries and produced property damage totaling $8.7 billion. The NFPA notes that although a fire is reported every 15 seconds, in most cases, they are completely preventable.

Here are some tips which can help you avoid fires in the home:

  • Nearly one-third of home fire victims lost their lives in fires that were smoking-related. If you have a smoker in your home, install a smoke detector in his or her room and have large, heavy ashtrays placed in various locations.
  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 14,000 clothes dryer-related fires occur each year. Since dust and lint buildup is the major problem, CPSC recommends that you clean the lint filter after each load and make sure the dryer is operating properly. Check for dust and lint buildup in the exhaust dust and around other major appliances, such as washers, water heaters and furnaces.
  • Take all the clothes out of the dryer after the cycle is done.
  • All appliances should be unplugged when not in use. If an appliance begins to smoke or smell, unplug it immediately.
  • Heat producing devices, such as irons and automatic brew coffee pots should never be trusted to turn themselves on or off, particularly if they depend on a clock or timer.
  • Don't leave stoves or burners unattended when cooking. Also, don't wear loose fitting clothes while cooking since they catch fire more easily.
  • Unplug power tools when not in use.
  • Don't plug too many items in the same electrical outlet or circuit, and check wiring and outlets for signs of damage.
  • Don't place extension cords under rugs. Instead, use longer ones and go around edges.
  • Leave lots of space around fans and space heaters.
  • Keep any flammable materials away from your furnace or water heater.
  • Have your furnace professionally inspected once a year.
  • And, please, always remember to keep matches and lighters away from children.

This public service announcement was produced by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH). Publication date: 1994.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More