October is ‘Fire Prevention Month:’ 5 Ways to Prevent Home Fires

fire-prevention-weekSTOP, DROP and ROLL… we all remember being told to do this as kids in the event we had clothing on fire!

Other adages we have learned over the years include: PASS, Pull the fire extinguisher pin, Aim the fire extinguisher hose, Squeeze the fire extinguisher handle, and Sweep the hose at the base of the fire to extinguish the flames.

Another acronym we use in the healthcare industry is RACE, which stands for Rescue those who you can rescue, Alarm – pull the fire alarm to notify others of the fire, Contain – isolate the fire to a confined area as you are able, and Extinguish or Evacuate – put the fire out or get out!

These are all good reminders of what to do in the event of a fire as we recognize Fire Prevention Month throughout the month of October.  According to US News and World Report, there are 5 simple ways to prevent home fires:

Risk #1 – Kitchens

A key way to prevent kitchen fires is by enjoying your meals in one of Tel Hai’s lovely dining venues! If that doesn’t always work for you, the best way to reduce the risk of fires happening in the kitchen is to stay with the food you are cooking on the stove-top. If you get called away from this task – turn off the burner before tending to the distraction.

Risk #2 – Heating your Home

Working fire alarm detectors save lives and knowing escape routes in the event of a house fire before one occurs is good planning! Each home has smoke detectors and the homes with propane service have carbon monoxide detectors. Tel Hai permits space heaters in resident homes that have been inspected by a facility services team member and that have a UL sticker on the heating unit.   It is further recommended that space heaters have a 3’ radius of clear space. Kerosene space heaters and other propane heaters are permitted in cottages as long as they are used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and the cottage has a working carbon monoxide detector.

Risk #3 – Smoking

Thank goodness Tel Hai doesn’t permit smoking in your home or anywhere else on campus, for that matter! The only place individuals may smoke on Tel Hai’s campus is in their vehicle. Butts must be extinguished in the vehicle ash tray because a smoldering cigarette butt in mulch spells disaster!

Risk #4 – Electrical Fires 

Check your electrical cords for proper condition – cords should not be used if they are cracked or frayed as this sparks fire. Another recommendation is to not overload circuits or run electrical cords under rugs. Please be observant to the condition of your cords!

Risk #4 – Candles

Lit candles are not permitted at Tel Hai. One recommendation is to use battery operated candles as they look quite similar to the actual flame kind, plus it’s fun to watch people try to blow those out at a party!

Fire extinguishers are in each of your residences and they are serviced annually. Fire drills happen periodically and your participation is encouraged.  Fire prevention week has evolved into a month of awareness!

Fire Fact: The first National Fire Prevention Day was declared by President Woodrow Wilson in 1922. This observation is the longest running public safety and health campaign on record and came about because of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871!

To learn more about fire safety, please stop by our table at the ”Fall” Prevention and Safety Fair on October 10 and October 12 from 1 to 3 PM at the CWPA.

W. Katie Buck, CASP

Residential Living Administrator

Tel Hai Retirement Community

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One Reply to “October is ‘Fire Prevention Month:’ 5 Ways to Prevent Home Fires”

  1. Katie,
    Thanks for your article on Fire Safety and reminding us of the 5 ways to prevent fires in our homes. Having visited my childhood home in the Boston area this past week, which was built in the 1700’s, I discovered a lamp with an outdated plug. Though the lamp wasn’t from the 1700’s – it probably is at least 60 or more years old. Though the knob and tube electrical has been updated in the home, our attention to older electrical appliances/lights is equally important. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of Fire Safety at Tel Hai and at home.
    Chaplain Brenda

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