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Cartoon Car 2October is Fall Car Care Month, when the Car Care Council, AAA motor club, and Car Fire Safety Tip Sheetothers remind motorists to have routine maintenance done on their vehicles to help avoid being stranded during harsh winter months. Fall Car Care Month is also a great time to remind motorists that servicing their vehicles can help prevent a fire. The Car Fire Safety Tip Sheet says that a well-maintained car is less likely to have a fire. Vehicles should be serviced regularly by a professionally trained mechanic.

More preventive measures and vehicle warning signs are provided on the tip sheet. Safety tip sheets on a variety of topics are available on the NFPA website.

The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office and ten area high school football programs are teaming up Smoke Alarm TN 3to save lives in The Volunteer State this fall.  Football teams are partnering with their local fire departments to install smoke alarms in high-risk areas in their communities.

“We are excited about the partnership with high school football teams across the state,” said Gary West, state fire marshal.  “These athletes are taking their leadership role off the field, and showing their leadership to the people of their communities. We are grateful to our local fire departments for supporting these efforts.” One such partnership was between members of the Henry County High School football team (pictured right) and the Paris Fire Department.

The pilot program is coordinated in conjunction with the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s “Get Alarmed” program. Get Alarmed provides free 10-year battery smoke alarms to Tennessee fire departments to install in homes in need throughout their communities. In addition to the smoke alarm installations, citizens also receive fire safety education and educational materials.

“We hope to involve more teams across the state in this vital program, as well as increase awareness of the importance of having a working smoke alarm in your home,” said West.

NFPA’s Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program provides pointers for launching a smoke alarm installation program in your community.

  Smoke Alarm TN 5
Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department, with the assistance of Blackman Blaze football players and Coach Philip Shadowens, canvassed three high-risk areas in Murfreesboro and installed smoke alarms.

Now that we’ve headed into October, you’ve probably noticed the days getting shorter, the air a little chillier, and the leaves changing their colors right before your eyes. Candle 2

These darker, cooler days also trigger our desire to dig into the mantel drawer and pull out a pair or two of those beautiful decorative candles bought at a recent crafts or school fair. We all love the fact that candles help to create a warm and homey glow to any gloomy day, but it’s also important to consider the dangers that candles pose.

FACT: Roughly one-third of home candle fires start in the bedroom.*

FACT: More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.*

So, while the idea of being surrounded by candlelight as you do your homework or entertain guests sounds romantic, we should always remember that a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

If you do burn candles, make sure that you:

* Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

* Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

* Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily, and put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.

What else can you do? As an alternative to real candles, consider using flameless candles in your dorm room or at home. They look and smell like the real deal. (And if you don’t believe me, the next time you’re in a restaurant, check out the candle at your table … chances are, it’s flameless!)  

You can also check out NFPA’s candle safety tips sheets. There’s great advice to help keep you safe if there is a candle in the room, and additional safety information for candle use during religious ceremonies. Read NFPA's candle safety fact sheet and watch a video for an "at a glance" look at home fire safety and candle use. 

We all know that candles are really pretty, but they are also a major cause of home fires and home fire deaths. So play it safe, everyone, and thank you!

*Source: NFPA's "Home Candle Fires" report by Marty Ahrens, December 2012.

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