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2014

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c710c201970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c710c201970b-320wi|alt=Candletips(1)|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Candletips(1)|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c710c201970b img-responsive!Authorities say a candle caused a fire inside a dorm room on the campus of Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania this week. According to WPXI.com, university relations officials say a student knocked over a burning candle. The fire was contained to the room and quickly put out. No one was injured.The university's policies and procedures state that candles or incense or the use of other open flame devices are prohibited in university property and will be confiscated if found.


 

NFPA's College Campus Fire Safety Tips sheet states that candles should be burned only if the school permits their use. They should be placed away from anything that can burn and blown out when you leave the room or go to sleep. The candle safety tips sheet is another great resource on this topic.


!http://i.zemanta.com/309849175_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/309849175_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA's safety tips sheets now include a personal touch

!http://i.zemanta.com/310596953_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/310596953_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Let NFPA held you get prepared for winter safety

 

Keep this Thanksgiving a fire-safe one by using extra caution in the kitchen tomorrow. That’s the main message behind KCWY13-TV’s local news coverage on Thanksgiving safety, which reinforces the increased potential for cooking fires, along with tips and recommendations for ensuring a fire-safe holiday.

A special thanks to Justin Smith, captain of Fire-EMS in Casper, Wyoming, and chair of the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition, who was interviewed for this story and helped ensure that accurate statistics and safety recommendations were included.

Have a happy, fire-safe Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07b4c3b1970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07b4c3b1970d-800wi|alt=Tip Sheet on Public Assembly|title=Tip Sheet on Public Assembly|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07b4c3b1970d image-full img-responsive!
According to the National Restaurant Association, 15 million people will eat their Thanksgiving Day meal at a restaurant. In addition, 32 million Americans are expected to dine out while shopping on Black Friday. If a favorite eating establishment will be serving your Thanksgiving holiday meal, take a few minutes to look around before you’re seated. Make sure the building appears to be in a condition that makes you feel comfortable. See if the main entrance is wide and opens outward to allow an easy exit. Check for any materials or storage items that might block the exits.


 

NFPA’s Safety in Places of Public Assembly tips sheet has additional information to keep you safe when you enter a public place and directions on what to do in an emergency. You can review all of the tips sheets on the NFPA website.


!http://i.zemanta.com/309849175_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/309849175_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA's safety tips sheets now include a personal touch

!http://i.zemanta.com/307824776_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/307824776_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Sprinklers keep weekend fire from spreading

!http://i.zemanta.com/307808737_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/307808737_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Cooking fires top list of Consumer Reports safety concerns during the holidays

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c70fc1b1970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c70fc1b1970b-320wi|alt=Car Checkup|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Car Checkup|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c70fc1b1970b img-responsive!For some of us one of the biggest undertakings before sitting down to the Thanksgiving meal this week won’t be preparing food or figuring out how to keep guests entertained, but traveling to where the Thanksgiving dinner is being served.


 

I’ll be crossing two state lines to get to my Thanksgiving destination and many people will have to travel further. Getting the car checked out before leaving town is always a good idea. NFPA’s Car Fire Safety Tips sheet has suggestions designed to keep you safe as you travel short or long distances.


    • Have your car serviced regularly by a professionally trained mechanic.

    • If you spot leaks, your car is not running properly; get it checked.

    • Know danger signs, including cracked or loose wiring or electrical problems, and rapid changes in fuel or fluid level or engine temperatures.


 

You can review all of NFPA’s safety tips sheets on other important topics as well as our easy-to-read handouts in additional languages.


!http://i.zemanta.com/311097639_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/311097639_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!In November's issue of Safety Source; carbon monoxide community toolkit, tip sheets that can be customized, Thanksgiving activities & more
!http://i.zemanta.com/310900724_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/310900724_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Before the turkey is served, pass around the cooking safety messages
!http://i.zemanta.com/307808737_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/307808737_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Cooking fires top list of Consumer Reports safety concerns during the holidays

With Thanksgiving on our heels, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention turkey fryers. As you know, fryers have been all the rage these past few years, and while the idea of fried turkey may seem appealing to some, the injuries and accidents that can occur by using a fryer far, far outweigh any of the benefits.

I probably can't say it enough (i.e. read my October 22 blog about the dangers of turkey fryers) but NFPA greatly discourages the use of turkey fryers. Due to the substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures, there are so many ways that people can get hurt. Consider the following:

* Hot oil may splash or spill at any point during the cooking process, especially when the fryer is jarred or tipped over, the turkey is placed in the fryer or removed, or the turkey is moved from the fryer to the table.  

* Propane-fired turkey fryers are designed for outdoor use, particularly for Thanksgiving, by which time both rain and snow are common in many parts of the country. If rain or snow strikes exposed hot cooking oil, the result can be a splattering of the hot oil or a conversion of the rain or snow to steam, either of which can lead to burns. 

Last year, NFPA, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hosted an event that focused on Thanksgiving cooking safety that included full-scale fire demonstrations that underscored the seriousness of cooking fires.

According to the CPSC, from 2003 - 2013, there have been more than 125 turkey fryer-related burns, explosions, smoke inhalations or laceration incidents reported to their organization. Below is a before and after photo that shows the potential danger of using a turkey fryer:

Turkey Fryer
So, if your plan is to showcase a fried turkey at your holiday table, please reconsider the fryer and seek out professional establishments such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants for this, the focal point of your meal. Believe me, you and your guests will be glad you did.

Don't run the risk of accidents getting in the way of a great time. Learn more about the dangers of turkey fryers on NFPA's cooking fire safety central web page, and download our tips sheet for a quick and easy way to share this information with friends and family.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, everyone, and thank you for keeping fire safety a priority as you celebrate the season! 

I recently read a great little article in the New York Times, which highlights a checklist to help ensure your Thankgiving holiday meal will go off without a hitch. If I may, I'd like to add one other "box" to this checklist, next to the grocery items and holiday decorations for your table:  fire safety. Thanksgiving

NFPA’s 2013 "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report states that in 2011, Thanksgiving was the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many fires occurring on this holiday as any average day of the year. In 2011, there were 1,210 fires on Thanksgiving, a 183 percent increase over the daily average.

Having said that, I can't emphasize enough the importance of staying focused on what's happening in the kitchen during your holiday preparations. Too many accidents occur because we're feeling rushed or are distracted. Not sure what I mean? Check out our latest cooking infographic. The numbers around cooking incidents are pretty staggering. Statistics like:

* Ranges or cook-tops account for almost 3 of every 5 reported home fires involving cooking equipment

* Failure to clean was a factor contributing to ignition in 17% of reported home fires involving ovens or rotisseries

* Two of every five microwave oven-related ER visits were for scald burns

If you get the chance, download the graphic and share it with families and friends. I think you'll agree, these numbers are worth noting. I also hope that by reading some of these statistics, we'll all realize it's important to take the time to focus on the dangers of the kitchen and prepare fully, before the guests arrive.

Find out more cooking fire safety facts and share some of our resources with the ones you love. All of this information can be found on our Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage

Thanks, everyone! NFPA wishes you and your family a very happy and very safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Two brothers are recovering from burn injuries after a fire at their home this week, which fire Heatingtipsofficials say originated by a space heater. The fire occurred in the Huntsville, Texas, area. According to The Huntsville Item, one brother suffered severe burns to his upper body as well as smoke inhalation. The other brother reported that he woke up to a fire near a portable space heater plugged into an extension cord. He was able to crawl out of a window and suffered minor burns and cuts. Fire investigators report that the home had no working smoke alarms.

  • Space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall outlet and never into an extention cord or power strip.
  • Turn heaters off or when you leave the room.
  • Have a three-foot safety zone around open fires and space heaters.

More space heater safety tips are available on the NFPA website.

Age guide
During Thanksgiving there is a lot of cooking going on in the kitchen. Make sure you have a 3 foot "kid-free" zone around the stove. Print out and make your own "kid-free" zone marker to show children exactly where the 3 foot mark is.

However, the holidays are also a great time to let kids help out in the kitchen. NFPA has developed an age-aprropriate guide for each age group, 3-5yrs, 6-8yrs, 9-12yrs and over 14 years. These guides give you ideas that kids in each group can help out with!  

Download and print the guide from Sparky's Parent page and get your kids in the kitchen to help out today! 

I'm really happy to announce three new children's videos from NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division.

The videos, “Sparky’s Wildfire Safety Home Projects for Kids and Parents,” “Sparky’s Neighborhood Wildfire Safety Tips for Families” and “Sparky and NFPA’s Wildfire Safety Checklist” feature NFPA’s spokesdog, Sparky the Fire Dog® who teaches young children the importance of wildfire safety.

Each video provides a fun and easy way parents and children can work together to help reduce the risk of wildfire damage to their homes and around their neighborhoods.

 

The videos complement other youth-related wildfire information including interactive games, quizzes and artwork, and teaching materials. And don't forget, you can share these videos and other great resources with family and friends! 

For more information and to watch all three videos, visit NFPA's wildfire "information for youth and families" web page.

CarbonMonoxideCover

Fire departments can access social media tools designed to help them share the carbon monoxide alarm safety message in their communities by using the carbon monoxide (CO) alarm toolkit. "Keeping Your Community Safe with Carbon Monoxide Alarms" toolkit, designed by NFPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, includes a sample blog that fire departments can tailor to their community and sample Facebook and Twitter messages.

Winter is the peak season for U.S. home fires, with cooking topping the list as one of the leading causes. To this end, NFPA and USFA are teaming up again this year for our "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires" campaign. It's been a great way for both organizations to educate the public about potential fire hazards during the winter months and holiday season, and for residents to get access to important information that can help keep them and their families safe.  Freeze

According to NFPA statistics, cooking is the leading cause of home structure fires and injuries in the U.S., and around the holidays, it's easy to get distracted, feel rushed, and forget about safety. Does this sound like you? Then take just a moment and look at these following cooking safety tips - they're easy to remember and everyone can follow through on them:

  • Keep an eye on what you fry
  • Be alert when cooking
  • Keep things that can catch fire away from cooking area

Have more time? Check out our other safety tips on our "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires" campaign web page. Many are available to download and share with friends and family.  

Nov ssThe November issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;  

  • New community toolkit on carbon monoxide safety
  • Mini lesson on CO poisoning
  • Select tip sheets can now be customized
  • Printable safety placemat for Thanksgiving dinner
  • Tips for a fire-safe Thanksgiving
  • Jim Pauley discusses effective ways to improve data collection
  • 10 tips to get ahead of the winer freeze

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be the first to get the latest information on happenings in the public education division, activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, Sparky the Fire Dog® and more.

  Cooking Checklist
Next Thursday family and friends will gather for fellowship and food as they give thanks for the blessings of the harvest. For many, Thanksgiving is a time of celebration. While meals are being planned and guest lists fine-tuned, fire safety precautions should be reviewed. Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment.

The fire service can remind the public about fire safe practices in the kitchen all holiday season long with NFPA’s tool kit on cooking safety. The tool kit has everything needed to launch a cooking safety campaign in your community, including talking points, outreach ideas, videos, press releases, a checklist, and fact sheet.

Community tool kits on other fire safety topics are available on the NFPA website to help keep residents safe and sound.

Fireplace graphicWinter officially arrives in five weeks. Now is the perfect time to get prepared for the heating season. You can start by reviewing the NFPA heating safety tips sheet, which has details on how to maintain heating equipment, operate it safely, and respond to warning signs of equipment malfunction. "Get Ahead of the Winter Freeze," which can be customized with the fire department or organization name and contact information, includes 10 tips for winter safety with an easy-to-follow checklist. If you'd like to watch heating safety tips in addition to reading about them, the heating web page has videos on home heating safety and heating equipment. 

  Cool to do Thanksgiving placemat in full
Are you looking for a fun activity that can involve the entire family this Thanksgiving?  Then check out Sparky the Fire Dog's "Cool-to-Do" activity. His free, printable, Thanksgiving-themed placemat provides room for listing what you're thankful for, a word exercise, and a maze with an important fire safety message. The Sparky parent page includes safety tips to keep in mind during the holiday and a fun craft for both kids and adults.

CUSTOMIZED TIP SHEETS
NFPA's popular safety tips sheets can now be customized. Select tip sheets can be personalized with your fire department or organization name and contact information or web site on the bottom right-hand side of the page. It's easy to share smoke alarm, cooking, carbon monoxide alarm, or Thanksgiving messages with your community. Easy-to-follow directions are included on the safety tips page. And if you're not interested in customizing the sheet, you can print it as usual.

A couple and their one-year-old safely escaped a home fire this past weekend when they awoke to the sound of a smoke alarm shortly before 4 a.m. Upon exiting the home, Patrick Parker said he and his wife saw flames near a space heater. While the family escaped without injury, the home was destroyed.

5462100ba3582_image
A working smoke alarm enabled a family of three to escape an early morning fire without injury, while the home was destroyed.

“This is a classic case of a smoke alarm doing what it’s supposed to do,” said Fire Chief Andy Riley of the Dandridge, Tennessee, Fire Department. “Now is a good time to check your own smoke alarms and make sure they are in good working order.”

Smoke alarms should be tested monthly. For smoke alarms that include a 10-year, non-replaceable battery, replace the entire smoke alarm if it begins to “chirp”, indicating that the battery is running low. For smoke alarms that use regular batteries, you can replace the batteries once a year, or before then if they begin to chirp.

Also, as temperatures begin to drop, it’s important to make sure your home heating equipment is functioning and used properly. Check out our home heating section, which offers tips and recommendations for ensuring a warm, fire-safe season in the months ahead.

Hot PotsLast weekend, my husband and I treated ourselves out to dinner, but instead of being served, we took the food preparation into our own hands. We were at a Hot Pot restaurant, seated at a table for two with a burner built into it.

As the large soup pot bubbled with broth, we dropped in leafy vegetables, mushrooms, noodles, and thinly sliced frozen chicken and beef. My husband was having a grand time. He’d never dined at a Hot Pot restaurant before and was eager to see how the dish he was cooking tasted. Perhaps he was a little too eager.

When I looked across the table at him, he was hunched over with his hand clamped to his mouth and his eyes pressed shut. He’d forgotten to let his food cool before taking a hearty spoonful.

NFPA’s Scald Prevention Safety Tips sheet tells us that hot liquids can cause devastating injuries and that scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries.

• Burns need to be treated right away.
• Cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes.
• Cover with a clean, dry cloth.
• Get medical help if needed.

Fortunately, my husband quickly recovered and we were soon enjoying our meal. He is now a Hot Pot enthusiast and realizes that one of the keys to a fine dining experience is practicing a little patience.

A story on Australia's number one newsite, News.com.au, was a particularly tough one to read this week. The headline, "NSW toddler burnt with hot cooking oil" paints a pretty horrible picture of what can happen if we're not careful to keep safety top of mind while working in our kitchens. Turns out the toddler suffered burns after grabbing a tea towel with a pot of hot cooking oil on it. The toddler, according to the story, is in stable condition but her burns, sadly, are numerous. Cooking

With this in mind, I'd like to offer just a quick reminder that the kitchen is one of the busiest places in our homes and it's easy to take shortcuts when we're multi-tasking or distracted by family members or guests. So, as you prepare your meals, remember to pay careful attention to cooking utensils, pot handles and other items that stick out from the stove or have the potential to hang off your counter top. Turn them inward or move them far away from the edge. You never know when little fingers (and big ones, too!) might grab on to them. 

These and other tips can be found on NFPA's Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage. As you continue to keep safety and health in mind, you will surely provide a more secure environment for all.

Family in Canada PoisonedA knock on the door by a sick child is credited with playing a big role in saving a family of five in Airdrie, Alberta. One night last week, 10-year-old Ashlea Orsted knocked on her parents’ bedroom door complaining of feeling sick. A short while later, the child collapsed. This was followed by her father, Dorien, struggling to stand up, her sister collapsing on the bathroom floor and her brother complaining of a headache and being unable to walk. The family managed to get outside and call 911. They were hospitalized with extremely high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure and placed on oxygen.

Airdrie Deputy Fire Chief Garth Rabel is quoted in the Airdrie City View as saying that the home had no working CO alarms and that a boiler leak filled the home with CO. After the family was released from the hospital, Dorien purchased a set of alarms.

NFPA provides material the fire service can use to remind the public of the dangers of CO poisoning and the importance of CO alarms, including the new Keeping Your Community Safe with Carbon Monoxide Alarms Toolkit. In addition safety tips on CO safety are available.

06374_OkFB_FireSafetyHouseEleven-year-old Aiden Brown put into practice what he learned during a recent safety demonstration at his school. According to the Oklahoma Farm Report, Aiden discovered a fire at his house after returning from school and made sure his seven-year-old sister, Abigail, got outside when he contacted the fire department.

Fire officials say Aiden learned what to do when Oklahoma Farm Bureau Safety Specialist David Turner set up a fire safety trailer outside the elementary school and discussed escape planning and provided other fire safety training to the children.

“I’m so grateful the Farm Bureau goes to schools with their fire safety trailer,” Melisa Brown, the children’s mother was quoted as saying. “My kids are safe today because of that training. It’s a great program.”

The fire chief says he wants Turner to return with the trailer to train older children and possibly adults.

Rolf Jensen Dollar GraphicDo you have a great idea for a community-wide fire and life safety campaign or program but need funding to get the project launched? If so, you’ll want to consider applying for the Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant. Funded by the RJA Group, the $5,000 grant is open to any fire department–career or volunteer–located in the United States or Canada.

In addition to the $5,000, the winning department will receive a commemorative plaque and the department's name inscribed on the winners’ plaque displayed at NFPA headquarters. Many recipients find that the grant helps to generate positive media coverage for the fire department and raises the profile of the department in the community.

The application is available on the NFPA website. You have until February 6, 2015, to apply.

Sprinkler Tips SheetThe outcome of a weekend fire in South Dakota reinforces the point that home fire sprinkler systems can save lives and prevent property damage or keep it to a minimum. According to KSFY-TV, early Sunday morning, a sprinkler system helped contain what could have been a much larger fire in Sioux Falls.

Firefighters said the fire, at a three-story business and apartment building, started in a kitchen at the third-floor apartment, but the sprinkler system quickly put out the fire, containing the small amount of damage to the one apartment kitchen. All of the tenants were able to safely exit the building.

NFPA’s Home Fire Sprinklers tips sheet and toolkit on home fire sprinklers can help local residents and officials learn about the value of home fire sprinklers

A recent report on ConsumerReports.org highlights their seven scariest kitchen accidents and reminds people that taking extra precautions while cooking during the holidays can mean a world of difference in terms of your safety and the safety of your family.

Leading the Consumer Reports list of accidents is cooking fires, followed by injuries from knives, cookware, food processors, microwaves and blenders. It's also important to note that during this time of year, still more injuries occur when people attempt to use turkey fryers, a practice NFPA greatly discourages.

KitchenNFPA’s 2013 "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report states that in 2011 Thanksgiving was the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many fires occurring on this holiday as any average day of the year. Christmas comes in second, with Christmas Eve rounding out the list in third place. 

Now that we're into November, let's do our part to practice cooking safely. We all know that it gets chaotic around the holidays, but if you can carve out (oh! no pun intended!) just a few minutes to review NFPA's cooking safety tips, it'll go a long way to protecting you and your family from harm. So, before you start that mad dash to plan your menu and grocery shop, take a moment to download the cooking safety checklist and infographic and read through the information thoroughly. These and our videos are also great to share with other members of your family and your friends, so send them an email today!

In the end, no matter where you find yourself this holiday season, NFPA has a whole suite of great resources to help you plan a wonderful, safe holiday meal. So go ahead, check out our Cooking Fire Safety Central webpages then relax and enjoy this special time of year with the ones you love.

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