Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13 and is being observed in Tuolumne County and around the nation. Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), this year’s theme is “Look, Listen, Be Aware.” The campaign highlights three steps people can take to help them quickly and safely escape a fire.
- Look for places a fire can start.
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
- Learn two ways out of every room.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Emily Kilgore of the CAL FIRE Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit (TCU). “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the smoke alarm sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
The Tuolumne County Fire Department is hosting a series of Fire Prevention Week events, including three fire station open house tours, an opportunity to meet your firefighters, and interactive activities for children. Kicking off Fire Prevention Week on Sunday, October 7, Station 76 in Jamestown (18249 4th Avenue) and Station 78 in Groveland (18930 Highway 120) will host open houses. To conclude Fire Prevention Week, Station 51 in Mono Village (19500 Hillside Drive) will host an open house. Hours for all open houses are 1-4 p.m.
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that fires kill 4,000 Americans each year and injure approximately 20,000 persons. In conjunction with Fire Prevention Week, the Fire Administration provides these tips to help avoid home fires and reduce the risk of injury should one occur.
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.
- Don’t overload circuits or extension cords. Cords and wires should never be placed under rugs or in high traffic areas. Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit the of the plug in the wall outlet.
- Unplug appliances when not in use. If a plug is overheating, smells strange, shorts out or sparks, the appliance should be shut off immediately and replaced or repaired.
- Make sure there is plenty of space around portable heaters. Anything the can catch fire should be at least three feet away.
- Inspect your chimney annually, and use fire screens to help keep fires in the fireplace.
- Create an escape plan with your family for every room in the house. Practice staying low to the floor and checking for hot doors using the back of your hand.
- Keep TV sets, kitchen, and other appliances away from windows and curtains. If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread the fire quickly.
- Clean the clothes dryer lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or just after the drying cycle is complete. Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing, not plastic or foil. Clean the exhaust duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage and check for lint buildup behind the dryer at least twice yearly.
- If you fill your home with lights during the holiday season, keep them away from anything that can catch fire. Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month.