October is National Fire Prevention Month. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2013 there were 1.25 million fires reported in the United States.  This amounts to a fire every 25 seconds.   Over 3,000 people were killed and damages in excess of 10 billion dollars occurred as a result of those fires.

Below are some facts and tips from the National Fire Protection Association to help prevent fires.

Cooking Safety – the leading cause of fires in the kitchen involve unattended cooking, and most cooking fires involve an open stovetop.  Always make sure you are awake and alert when cooking, and keep anything that can catch fire (mitts, wooden utensils, towels and packaging) away from your stovetop.

Candle Safety – candles are one of the leading causes of fires in the home.  Most candle fires start in the bedroom, and over one half of all candle fires start as a result of things that can burn being too close to the candle.  Always blow out candles when you leave a room for good or go to bed, and put candles on sturdy, uncluttered surfaces, at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

Heating Safety– did you know that half of all home fires are reported during December, January, and February?  Always have a professional install any major heating appliance such as a wood-burning stove.  Always maintain working carbon monoxide alarms and have your heating equipment cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

Smoking Safety­ – smoking in the house is one of the leading causes of fires.  Worse, one out of every four fatal victims of a smoking-fire is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.  If you smoke, try to go outside.  If you do stay indoors, always use a deep sturdy ashtray, and place it away from anything that can burn.  Never smoke in bed.

Electrical Safety – electrical fires are frequently the result of an unqualified person attempting to do work, or an outlet receptacle being overloaded.  Always have a qualified electrician do any electrical work in your home, and be sure that you only plug one-heat producing appliance into an outlet receptacle at a time.  Check electrical cords to make sure that they are not running across doorways or under carpets.

At LaMarche Safranko Law, we want to make sure our readers are educated on the most up-to-date fire safety information to keep you and your families safe.