New Castle County, DE Celebrates Fire Prevention Week
Facts & Figures About Fire Prevention
This year, Fire Prevention Week in the United States is from October 8th through October 14th. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, fire prevention week is on Record as the longest running public health observance.
In a fire every second counts. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy. That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan.
Below is this year’s key campaign messages and educational facts:
- Draw a map of your home by using our grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Safety In The Home
Keep your family safe from fire. Be aware of the hazards in your home. And, be sure to have an escape plan. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.
- Burn AwarenessMost “fire-related injuries” are burns.
- Dryers and Washing MachinesThe leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean them.
- Escape PlanningLearn the steps to create and practice a home fire escape plan.
- Gasoline & PropaneAlways handle gasoline in the home or propane-powered equipment cautiously.
- Hoarding and Fire SafetyMany fire departments are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior.
- Medical OxygenPortable medical oxygen in the home has grown over the past decade.
- Portable FireplacesThe fuel, device and open flame from these products can be dangerous.
- Portable GeneratorsThe most common dangers with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock, and fire hazards.
Top Causes Of Fire
Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries. Smoking is the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths. Heating equipment is the second most common cause of home fire fatalities.
- Arson and Intentional Fires Most of these fires occur outside, but most of the associated deaths, injuries, and losses occur in structures, particularly in homes.
- Candles The top three days for home candle fires are New Year's Day, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.
- Cooking Includes general cooking safety info, as well as tips for microwaves, cooking oil and turkey fryers.
- Electrical Safety in the home with circuit interrupters
- Heating The peak months for home heating fires are December, January and February.
- Smoking Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.
- Young Fire Setters Children playing with fire cause hundreds of deaths and injuries each year.
Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Here's What You Need To Know!
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
- More about installation and maintenance of home smoke alarms.
Facts & Figures About Smoke Alarms
- In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
- No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.
- The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
- In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
- Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.
Source: NFPA's "Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires" report
Fire & Life Safety Equipment
Fire safety equipment has a big impact in reducing the average loss of life and property per fire. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Fire sprinkler systems react so quickly, they can dramatically reduce the heat, flames, and smoke produced in a fire.
- Carbon monoxideBe aware of the hazards of Carbon monoxdie (CO), known as the "invisible killer."
- Fire extinguishersFire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape.
- Home fire sprinklersHome fire sprinklers help save lives.
Learn how to keep your family safe from the seasonal threats that may endanger you including grilling, fireworks and holiday fires.
- Fireworks Each July Fourth, thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks.
- Grilling A grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard.
- Halloween Safety Taking simple fire safety precautions, like making sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame-resistant, can prevent fires.
- Lightning Fires started by lightning peak in the summer months and in the late afternoon and early evening.
- Outdoor Entertaining Hosting outdoor events means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
- Thanksgiving safety Fire safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving.
- Electrical Safety Around Water Electric shock drowning (ESD) can occur when faulty wiring sends an electrical current into the water.
- Winter Holiday Safety NFPA's "Project Holiday" provides a wealth of safety information to help ensure the holiday season is a safe one.
Put A Freeze on Winter Fires
Heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months.
NFPA and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) are teaming up to help reduce your risk to winter fires and other hazards, including carbon monoxide and electrical fires. Learn more about these specific elements of winter fire safety to help keep you safe this winter.
Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%).
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon Monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties.
- Get additional information and resources on carbon monoxide safety.
- Get more statistics on Carbon Monoxide incidents.
Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.
- Get additional information and resources on severe storms.
Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards.
According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools.
- Get additional information and resources on portable generators.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top four days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. Each year between 2009 and 2013, an average of 25 home candle fires were reported each day.
Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters.
Christmas Tree Disposal
Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasing flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. Nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious.
- Get additional information and resources on Christmas trees and their proper disposal
- Get more statistics on Christmas tree fires.
Safety Tip Sheets NFPA offers free safety tip sheets on a variety of fire and life safety topics. Download, print and share these tip sheets to spread the word about fire safety.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (302) 392-6000
Fire Damage Restoration Process
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.