October is Fire Prevention Month

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Every October is designated as Fire Prevention Month – a month-long opportunity to raise awareness about the potential damage that fire can cause, as well highlight the ways your entire family can stay safe from house fires in your residence.

Over the course of the month, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other organizations encourage families to learn about the dangers of fire and fire prevention. In honor of this important initiative, ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration Services offers a basic guide to how fires start at your home, important fire statistics every homeowner should be aware of, the many ways to prevent house fires, and what to do if you need fire damage restoration services.

How Fires Start At Your Home

The origin of Fire Prevention Month started from the Great Chicago Fire. In this disaster, over 250 lives were lost and caused a staggering 100,000 people to become homeless in Chicago in 1871. Since then, there’s been an emphasis on raising a greater awareness of how fires can start at your home. As legend has it, the Great Chicago Fire started in a barn when a cow kicked over a lantern, but the reality is that household fires can start in a number of ways and from a variety of sources. Some of the most common causes of house fires include:

  • Cooking
  • Heating equipment
  • Faulty electrical wiring
  • Smoking
  • Candles
  • Appliances
  • Electrical fires
  • Christmas tree fires
  • And more

Fire Damage Stats

The following are some of the most important statistics to fully understand the cost of house fires:

Fire Prevention Tips For Your Entire Family

In truth, many house fires that result in injury and death are completely preventable if only individuals had followed basic fire safety and prevention measures.

Before becoming another statistic, some of the most basic fire prevention and safety measures include:

  • Always unplugging unused electronics and appliances.
  • Have accessible fire extinguishers throughout your home, especially in the kitchen.
  • Make sure fire extinguishers and other fire-suppression systems are up to date.
  • Always remain in the kitchen when you are broiling, baking, frying, or grilling food.
  • Install and regularly maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors throughout your home.
  • Choose to smoke outside of your home and never smoke in bed (one of the most common sources of house fires).
  • Replace all damaged, worn, and metal-exposed appliance cords immediately.
  • Never run cords under furniture or rugs.
  • Keep space heaters away from combustible objects, and never warm/dry anything on top of them.
  • Never leave candles or incense burning in an empty room.
  • Have fireplaces and wood stoves inspected each year before use..

While these are great guidelines to follow, they only are effective if your entire family is aware of how to prevent accidental house fires. Practicing fire safety at home involves the right mix of prevention, planning and action.

Here are a few tips to get your family started:

  • Teach your children to stay away from fire at home until they’re old enough to fully understand how to be safe around fire. Make sure everyone knows that flame sources are for adults only.
  • Encourage talking about the realities of fire. Explain to your children in age-appropriate terms about what could potentially happen if they break your home’s fire-safety rules. Be sure to encourage them to calmly and immediately tell you if someone breaks fire safety rules – or if they notice something that could potentially lead to a house fire.
  • Encourage your children to help check your alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers. Older children can help test smoke alarms and learn how to use fire extinguishers. Make sure that everyone knows where fire extinguishers are located, how to call the fire department, and how to stay safe if a fire does break out.

Choose ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration Services for Fire Damage Restoration Services

If your home is affected by fire or smoke damage, don’t hesitate to contact ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration Services. As a trusted disaster restoration company serving the Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer, and Somerset counties, ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration Services has been helping people get back on their feet with prompt and fire damage restoration for decades. Contact us today to learn more about our fire damage restoration and other services we can provide.