Oct. 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week, which was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 that killed 250 people and left more than 10,000 people homeless. In fact, the entire month of October is dedicated to National Fire Safety and Prevention, which is a perfect opportunity to talk to your family about fire safety.
Locally in south county, seven people were displaced from their houses when a two-alarm fire destroyed two mobile homes in Lothian. Fire officials are still investigating what caused the fire, but in the wake of the tragedy, it's a good time to look at how you can prevent a similar disaster with your own family.
Everyone knows the stop, drop, and roll, but there are many other ways to prevent a fire in your home. Here are five tips recommended by the Center for Disease Control:
- Install a smoke detector in every floor of your home and if possible, in all sleeping rooms. Be sure to perform a monthly test of your existing smoke detectors throughout the year.
- Make sure there is space around your heater and that window curtains or other flammable materials aren’t touching the heater.
- Create a family escape plan from your home in case of a fire. Everyone in your home should know at least two ways out of each room. Also, be sure to have a meeting place outside your home.
- Don’t smoke in your home. If you do, never leave burning cigarettes unattended and don’t empty burning or hot ashes in a trash can.
- When cooking, keep anything that can catch on fire away from the stove including potholders, towels, long loose-fitting sleeves, etc. Also, never leave cooking food unattended and keep pot handles turned in when on the stove.
For more fire safety tips and facts, visit the National Fire Protection Association page.
TELL US: What are your fire safety tips? What is the most useful thing you have taught your family about preparing for a fire?