Winter time is holiday – and that means of lots of cooking, lots of entertaining, and unfortunately, lots of opportunities for home fires to occur. The Division of State Fire Marshal urges families to pay particular attention to fire safety during the holiday season.
As of November 1, 2016, there was 85 fire-related deaths in Ohio. In 2015, there was a total of 122.
During the Christmas and holiday season, it is fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. Use electricity safety to avoid the following common causes of electrical fires:
- Overloaded outlets
- Misuse of extension cords
- Not turning off lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the home
- Old or worn holiday lights
- Old or worn out appliances and electrical cords
Decoration Fire Safety Tips
- When purchasing an artificial tree, look for a “Fire Resistant” label.
- If you have a metallic tree, never use electric lights on it. You could be electrocuted.
- When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. Make sure the needles are soft and are not falling off. Hard, brittle needles are signs of a dry tree, which can easily catch fire.
- Keep your live tree a safe distance from heat sources.
- Live trees need water, and lots of it. Cut about one inch off the bottom of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Add water and check the tree daily.
- Do not block your exit door with your tree.
- Remove live trees from your home as soon as possible. Most Christmas tree fires occur on or after New Year’s Day.
- Check each light set for damaged sockets or wires. Discard light sets and extension cords that are worn or cracked.
- Use UL approved light sets. Follow the manufacturer recommendations concerning the maximum number of light sets that can be connected together.
- Replace burnt out bulbs with bulbs of the same wattage as indicated on the tag attached to the light set.
- Turn off all lights before you go to bed or leave the home.
- Use only light sets and extension cords marked “For Outdoor Use” outside your home.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely with insulated clips or hooks. Use circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
For the greatest protection, install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside each sleeping area.
Officials have recalled thousands of video baby monitors sold in the U.S. and Canada over what they say is a possible burning hazard.
The recall affects 26,000 Lorex Care ‘N’ Share monitors, which come with a blue lithium polymer battery that officials say can overheat and swell, which creates a burning hazard, WishTV.com reported. No injuries have been reported.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the monitors are sold at Babes “R” Us, B&H, Best Buy, Target, The Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Amazon and LorexTechnology.com.
There have been 488 cases reported of batteries overheating and expanding, WishTV.com reported. About 140 of those reports including instances wherein the battery’s plastic casing came off.
The model numbers in the recall included WL3520, WL4320 and WL3401
Eldorado Lieutenant Coby Spear recently attended the National Fire Academy and came back with a wonderful idea. The El Dorado Fire Department is teaming up with the American Red Cross to provide smoke detectors – free of charge – to any El Dorado citizen.
The entire city will be canvassed.
The detectors being installed are the 10 year model. No battery needs replaced. The detector simply runs a 10 year cycle whereby it’s replaced at the end of 10 years.
Give us a call if you would like to jump to the front of the pack.
A man dies in an unprotected trench when it collapses on him. Afterwards? A full assault on training requirements for workers, zero tolerance for shoring shortcut procedures, and funds provided to fire departments for equipment.
Unbelievable but true. This real life example is often how we go about providing additional funds for the fire service. But no event has had more effect on fire service funding than September 11, 2001.
Before Osama Bin Laden’s attack on the World Trade Center buildings, there was zero – let me say that again – ZERO – federal funds given to the fire service.
Afterwards? Millions and millions and millions.
All it took was 2,996 deaths – 343 of those being firefighters. Why?
It’s unfortunate, but America has a tendency to reward failure. Law enforcement is probably the best example. Crime goes up? We add more police officers, and we add more sophisticated crime fighting equipment – and on and on.
It’s also unfortunate, but America has a tendency to punish success. Fire service is probably the best example. Fire prevention programs and stricter building requirements have reduced the number of fires. Fires go down? We reduce firefighters. And, we provide no funds for equipment – and on and on.
Bulk up Prevention – don’t bulk up Emergency Response. And, when the emergency response numbers go down, don’t cut the emergency response ranks. Firefighter numbers have already been depleted.
Let’s provide emergency service funding in a more sensible fashion. Fire service funding shouldn’t take a monster.
One of the many things we do as firefighters is talking with kids about fire safety. Throughout the year we try to get to all the daycares in town to talk to the kids and show them the equipment we use to do our job.
On Tuesday February 2nd, we talked to 20 preschoolers at El Dorado Head Start, telling them not to hide in their house if it is on fire and about what a firefighter looks like in his fire gear and not to be afraid if they see us like this.
Seeing what we look like in our gear and seeing that we are not scary before there is an emergency hopefully will trigger that memory in an emergency. After a short talk from Captain Jack Zimmerman and watching Student Resident Ethan Herrick get in his fire gear the students went outside in the cold weather to look at the fire truck.
Master Firefighter Derick Boggs was outside to show the kids the truck. This is just one of many ways that we serve our community to make it a better place to live.