Home Safety: Risk of fire increases during winter months; tips to stay safe

Staff Report

PATTERSON, N.Y. — The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), the longest-tenured fire sprinkler advocacy organization in the U.S., reminds families to take time during the winter months to review the dangers of fire with their loved ones. Incidents of fire occur frequently during the winter months, largely because of heating sources in homes.

With the increased use of fireplaces and home heating systems during the winter months, families need to take the proper precautions to prevent potentially dangerous fire situations,” said John Viniello, president of the NFSA. “We believe that if everyone takes a few moments to review fire safety techniques and protocols with their loved ones, lives will be saved and potential tragedies avoided.”

With winter just beginning, the NFSA provides the following fire safety tips to keep families and loved ones safe all season long:

• Keep a watchful eye on space heaters, and make sure there is at least 3 feet of clear space around them when in operation. Do not leave a space heater on unattended.

Keep flammable liquids free from heating sources, and store them in a cool location. Also, keep them separate from other stored items such as paper products and cloth materials.

Check smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly and have full battery power. It’s recommended that you check the batteries in your smoke alarms when it’s time to turn the clocks forward or backward.

Keep an up-to-date list of emergency fire, police and medical phone numbers near your telephone. Show every member of your family where this information is kept, and teach all children how to call for help in case of an emergency.

Develop an escape plan with your family from multiple rooms within your home, both upstairs and downstairs. Take time to review the escape plan with your family, including a practice fire drill.

Consider installing residential fire sprinklers to protect your family and property. To date, there has never been a multiple loss of life in a structure that had a competently installed and properly-maintained fire sprinkler system.

Make sure windows of children’s rooms are well marked to indicate them to firefighters.

For more about how to protect yourself and loved ones this winter from the dangers of fire and to learn more about the life-saving benefits of residential fire sprinklers, visit www.NFSA.org.

From the Jan. 18-24, 2012, issue

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