October is Fire Safety Month.
Risk of Fire Heats Up with Winter Weather
As temperatures cool, the risk of fire heats up. Exposure to fire, flame and smoke is the sixth-leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. – with more deaths occurring in the winter. December, and especially January, typically account for the most fire deaths, when cold weather mixes with the holidays.
In 2006, 2,800 Americans unintentionally lost their lives to fires, flames and smoke, according to the National Safety Council. Help protect your family and co-workers by planning for fire before one happens. Planning provides action steps that can prevent a panic and save lives.
One of the most important things you can do is install a smoke alarm. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half, according to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Test and clean your smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.
In addition, create escape routes from your home or office and practice escaping from all parts of the building. Install fire extinguishers and teach your family or employees how to use them.
For additional tips, see Home Fire Prevention & Preparedness in the NSC’s online resource library.