The 2015 Fire Prevention Week campaign will run from Oct. 4-10. This year's theme is "Hear the BEEP where you SLEEP: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!" It is all about keeping you, your family safe from a fire.
If you're like many people, you may not remember the last time you tested your Smoke and Carbon monoxide alarm. Smoke alarms have become such a common feature of U.S. households that they're often taken for granted, and not tested and maintained as frequently as they should be.
Working smoke alarms are a critical fire safety tool that can mean the difference between life and death in a home fire. According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association, smoke alarms can reduce the chances of dying in a home fire by half. Meanwhile, NFPA data shows that home fires killed more than 2,755 people in 2013. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with the proper smoke alarm protection.
Causes of Fires in the Home:
Carelessness causes most fires in the home. Does your home pass this checklist?
1. Chimney Fire - can break out when too hot a fire is kindled in the furnace.
2. Attic Fire - can start when an overheated chimney ignites materials stored in an attic.
3. Fire Can Blaze Up in Paint Cans - if they are stored in warm basements.
4. Fire From Hot Ashes - can flare up when they are stored in an improper container.
5. Fire on a Workbench - can start if a connected soldering iron or wood burning tip is left untended.
6. Fire in a Closet - can begin when overloaded fuse box ignites clothes or rags.
7. Fire in Waste Paper - can begin if trash is stored carelessly in a basement.
8. Fire from Poor Wiring - in an appliance or wall can quickly spread to nearby curtains.
9. Fire in a Chair - can start when a careless smoker drops hot ashes.
10. Flashback Fire - starts when cleaning fluid fumes from a sink reach the furnace.
11. Closet Fires - can start when spontaneous combustion sets rags or mops on fire.
12. Fire in a Grease pan or Deep Fryer - on a stove can ignite nearby curtains.
13. Fire in a Wastebasket - can flare up if hot cigarette ashes are emptied into it.
14. Curtains or Furniture Can be Set Ablaze - by a child playing with matches.
15. Fire in Bedding - can happen when a careless smoker falls asleep in bed.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are possible sources of Carbon Monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide.
Effects of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Exposure
CO replaces oxygen in the bloodstream, which leads to suffocation.
• Mild Exposure - Mild effects include symptoms similar to flu such as headache, nausea and vomiting.
• Medium Exposure - More severe symptoms include difficulty breathing, severe headache, drowsiness, confusion and an increased heart rate.
• Extreme Exposure - Extreme symptoms can cause unconsciousness, convulsions, cardio respiratory failure, and death.