Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 240 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 150 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires result in 21 deaths and $25.2 million in direct property damage. http://ow.ly/oUwsq
This video done by the NIST shows a VERY DRY Christmas tree on fire in a room. It takes a little over 30 seconds for the room to flashover. Keep your tree watered. Once it ignites (short circuit of a strand of lights, direct flame, etc) it will become a fully developed fire very fast and extend to the rest of the structure very quickly.
Fires cause an estimated 3,500 deaths and nearly $4 billion in property damage in the United States annually — much more than hurricanes, tornadoes or floods. Yet many people ignore common fire hazards in the home and don’t prepare themselves or family members for this more common catastrophe.
Household Appliances- Household appliances are another common cause of fires. Many people feel invulnerable from electrical fire hazards, thinking the rules don’t apply to them. Don’t make the same mistake and instead connect with these warnings:
Cook Up a Safe Place- Most home fires start in the kitchen. To protect your home and family:
A house fire is traumatic enough. Not having a good record of your belongings can only add to the misery. Keeping a home inventory of the items you have and their values will help you when the rebuilding starts. There are free downloads available from the Insurance Information Institute to serve as a guide to homeowners in order to have record after a loss.
A few simple steps can help when taking inventory: Don’t put it off. Start with new items and their value, and then try to remember older items. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all. Use your camera. Take pictures or video of your home and write down descriptions to go with it. Keep it safe. Be sure to keep the inventory in a secure place, such as a fire box or safe deposit box.
In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared.
Smoke alarms are required by your insurance. Since most fires start between midnight and 4 a.m., the key to survival is being awake and alert.
Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly.
For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
This segment from NBC’s TODAY Show may surprise some parents, as it shows how kids can sleep right through the sound of a smoke alarm.
Fuel-powered devices can provide wonderful benefits to families when used properly. But they also underscore an important necessity in the home: the need for a carbon monoxide alarm.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or cars left running in garages. At its worst, carbon monoxide can cause severe side effects or even death.
Young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of carbon monoxide because of their smaller bodies. Children process carbon monoxide differently than adults, may be more severely affected by it, and may show signs of poisoning sooner. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness.
Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.
More Fire Safety Tips
If you only had 10 minutes to evacuate your home, would you be ready? What would you take with you? See how two families deal with an evacuation order, and what a difference having a plan can make. http://ow.ly/o5QSs
Ready your Family Emergency Plan…. http://ow.ly/o5TeB
In the event of a sudden emergency such as a hurricane, you may have just minutes to gather your family and important papers, and get out of your house, possibly for good. Are you prepared? Where would you go? What would you take with you? http://ow.ly/o5RQr
Sesame Workshop, along with its project partners has created Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together for Emergencies with tips, activities, and other easy tools to help the whole family prepare for emergencies – together! http://ow.ly/o5Siv
Build a kit for disasters and emergencies! (and don’t forget to update/refresh it) http://ow.ly/o5SFf
A Disaster Supply Kit should contain the following:
Visit www.Ready.gov, and www.fema.gov/what-mitigation/plan-prepare for a thorough look into disaster preparedness and a more detailed list of emergency supplies. Also, www.Ready.gov/kids is an excellent resource for information on how to involve children in the process of assembling the family’s Disaster Supply Kit.