As part of an annual awareness campaign, federal safety officials are promoting a set of guidelines that are designed to help homeowners and renters avoid tragic and potentially life threatening fires, which result in about 2,200 deaths each year across the United States.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a series of home fire safety tips during its Fire Prevention Week, which spans from October 8, 2017 through October 14, 2017, and is designed to alert homeowners and renters of the potential dangers that home fires may cause, and the easy steps that can be taken to mitigate injury or death.
According to the CPSC, there are on average about 360,000 home fires every year across the United States. They result in roughly 2,200 deaths and nearly 11,500 emergency room treated fire injuries, ranging from mild to severe burns.
In conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association (FPA), the CPSC initiated the Fire Prevention Week campaign this week to promote its slogan “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 ways out!” The agencies stress how important every second is during a house fire, and that having a plan to prevent panic can save lives.
Within the series of recommendations, the agencies indicate that homeowners or renters should create an escape plan and make sure there are at least two ways out of each room and a clear path to outdoors. Any and everyone living or staying at a home should be informed of the fire escape plans and there should be a designated meeting place outside of the house to account for occupants.
The CPSC recommends this fire escape drill should be practiced twice a year and adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be placed outside of each sleeping area on every floor. Smoke detectors should be frequently checked and replaced every ten years. If your house has a sprinkler system, be sure to have it inspected to ensure it is in working order.
Every death caused by a house fire can be prevented as long as there are adequate safety precautions taken to prevent, alert and help occupants of a building escape safely, the CPSC indicates.
Children and the elderly should be taken into special consideration in preparing for a fire emergency. Practice routines should focus on rendering aid to the elderly and children who may need assisted in exiting the home.
Fire safety routines should be taken for any type of residence, whether it be the home you own, a renter’s apartment, or multi-unit complexes and school campus housing. The CPSC found that 94 percent of fatal campus fires took place in off-campus rental housing, while 58% of fatal campus fires were not equipped with smoke alarms.
As a secondary initiative to the fire safety campaign, the CPSC will be conducting a nationwide survey to gather information about the functionality of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in homes across the United States, and is encouraging anyone contacted to participate.