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3 Posts authored by: cthompson Employee

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” focuses on cooking safety, as cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. But it’s important to be prepared in case of a fire in your home, no matter the cause. While NFPA’s survey data shows that 71 percent of Americans have a home escape plan, less than half (47 percent) have actually practiced it.

 

Home escape planning and practice are basic but critical elements of fire safety. Today’s home fires are faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

 home fire escape grid

 To help be prepared in the event of a home fire and escape safely, download this Home Fire Escape Grid so that you can develop and practice a plan with everyone in your household. Practice makes perfect, so drill your escape strategy twice a year, in as realistic conditions as possible. Find more tips and recommendations for creating an escape plan, along with other valuable safety messages for kitchen safety, on our Fire Prevention Week website.

As many households enter the new school year remotely and several family members continue to work from or remain at home, this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen”, is more relevant than ever. Spending more time at home means more time in the kitchen, so up through Fire Prevention Week this October 4-10, we’ll be highlighting resources that can help you make the most of this year’s special circumstances while promoting fire safety.

 

Cooking together is a great way to bond with the family but adding kids to the mix requires reviewing basic safety precautions. While cooking fires remain the leading cause of home fires and injuries, non-fire cooking injuries are even more common than those caused by the fires. NFPA’s most recent cooking fires report shows that nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of children ages 5-9 and 14 percent of children age 10-14 suffered microwave oven scalds.Kids in the Kitchen tip sheet

 

Our Kids in the Kitchen tip sheet offers simple but important ways to help kids of all ages learn how to participate in cooking activities without putting themselves or others at risk. 

 

Educators, parents, and other community members have ample opportunities to be innovative in how they share meaningful fire safety messages around the kitchen this year. For more ways that NFPA can help, check out the Fire Prevention Week homepage.

Pool Safety

As we swim through the humidity of late July, many households are turning to backyard pools for relief. Ensuring your safety while having fun is of utmost importance. The usual rules apply—do not let children swim unattended, don’t consume alcohol before getting into the pool, and use your sunscreen. The maintenance of your pool is just as critical to your personal safety! Improper storage and handling of pool chemicals often leads to fires, explosions, injuries and toxic fume events—the last thing on anyone’s mind for a day at the pool.

 

Earlier this month, accidental mixing led to hospital visits and more for two households in Whitman and Agawam, Massachusetts, prompting State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey to issue safety information emphasizing the importance of following manufacturer instructions and ensuring chemicals are stored and handled properly. He stressed the way to avoid burns, explosions, and toxic fumes can be as simple as reviewing best practices, such as:

  • Keeping chemicals secure and dry
  • Putting powder in water—not water in powder
  • Thoroughly cleaning tools and storage locations to avoid accidental mixing

A full list of other tips and considerations can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services website. While these chemicals are made for water, it is important to remember that small quantities that drip from pipes, cracked windows, or a wet swimsuit can set off dangerous chemical reactions. Following strict guidelines for cleaning tools is also necessary, as even mixing old and new batches of the same chemical can result in unforeseen consequences, which was the case in Agawam, MA.

 

NFPA 430, Code for the Storage of Liquid and Solid Oxidizers covers the proper care and storage of these powerful substances. And our pools, hot tubs, and spas safety tip sheet offers tips to avoid electrical shock while playing in your water oasis. Between a pandemic, the upcoming hurricane season, and other challenges, first responders have a lot on their plates. Let’s alleviate the burden by ensuring we work and play safely with the tools that can keep a sweet pool day from turning sour.

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