Monthly Archives

May 2015

Handle outdoor spring cleaning with care

By Fire Safety, NFPA

It’s hard to turn on the television these days or flip through a magazine without being reminded that we’re in the season of spring cleaning projects. We’re given tips on how to declutter our kitchens, organize our home offices, make our bathrooms smell like a citrus forest, and sweep, swish, and spray just about everything.

For those who take their spring cleaning outdoors, NFPA’s Outdoor Electrical Safety tips sheet offers advice for decluttering while maintaining safety.

  • Store electrical tools indoors.
  • Keep the area around your electric meter and other electrical equipment clear.
  • Have a professional tree cutting service trim branches that might fall on electrical wiring.

Information on electrical safety in the home, as well as a video on electrical safety, and the observance this month of National Electrical Safety Month can be found on the NFPA website.

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‘Tis a grand season for grilling (and keeping fire safety in mind)!

By Fire Safety, NFPA

Memorial Day weekend is just a few days away and for those of us here in New England, it could not have come at a better time. After enduring what seemed like the longest winter EVER, we can actually smell the flowers and see grass growing again!

With spring in the air most people are already hard at work planning for lots of fun outdoor parties and cookouts this weekend and beyond. Are you one of them? If you are, then you'll want to check out NFPA's newest videos that will help you kick off the grilling season safely and in style. 

But before you start, let me ask, do you:

* Know how to turn on the grill safely?

* Know what to do if the grill doesn't ignite or the flame goes out?

* Know how to turn off the grill safely?

You might be surprised at the answers. To find the correct response to these questions, watch NFPA's first of two grilling fire safety videos below or find it on our grilling fire safety web page. We believe that this short, fun video will have you thinking differently about your cookouts and BBQs from now on, AND you'll stay safer each time you fire up the grill. 

 

Want more great information? Then check out our full grilling fire safety page where you'll find information about propane and charcoal grills, a great tips sheet that's easy to download and share with friends and family, interesting statistics, and our latest infographic that reminds us why grilling safely is so important and should be taken seriously.

Enjoy a safe and happy grilling season, everyone! 

Up next: A simple test for checking gas grill leaks.

Spring cleaning: a Firewise thing

By Fire Safety, NFPA

As we take action to clean up around the homestead after a long winter, let us think about how we can create a Firewise home and landscape, not only focusing on the vegetation surrounding our home, but also the “human treasure” that we simply cannot seem to get rid of.  We all know that someday we

Tires burning image on Linked in

might need these items.  Many of these treasures, such as old tires, leftover wood, sofas and other furniture items and papers can contribute to debris piles often located in close proximity to the home. This creates a scenario where we have put kindling around the home that will make it easier to ignite if there is a wildfire.  Make sure the items that you are storing do have value.  Hoarding items outside can be just as hazardous as hoarding excess items inside.  The NFPA offers some great resources to help fire service professionals and others with these potentially hazardous conditions. If you choose to keep these items, do not store them next to the home or under the deck, rather put them in the garage or in an enclosed shed.

Even such things as open garbage cans under the eaves, flammable attachments such as trellises with dead vines, coco or rattan door mats, and patio cushions can create hazardous conditions for a home during a wildfire event.   Make sure that your garbage cans have lids and are not located under the eaves of your home. Use nonflammable attachments and remove all dead vegetation away from your home.  If you are going to be away from your home, take door mats and patio cushions inside.

Create a healthy and Firewise homestead this year as you do your spring cleaning so that you can have “A Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire”.

Image from Becu website trashy yards

Image from Becu website trashy yards

Don't let your home look like this!  Piles of "human treasures"  located in close proximity to a home can act like kindling to a campfire.

Extension cord fire leaves two dead

By Fire Safety, NFPA

 

A fire in Palm Beach County, Florida, believed to be started by an extension cord in a mobile home, left twin 14-year-old girls dead and sent their mother to a nearby hospital early today, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

“We received news early this morning of a horrible tragedy that has taken the lives of two of our students. We are devastated by this unthinkable loss,” the girls’ school principal, Michael Aronson, is quoted in the Palm Beach Post as saying in a written statement.

When firefighters arrived at the home, they saw Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies pulling one person through the front window of the mobile home. Crews made their way into the smoke-filled home, pulled out one occupant and later located the third person.

There was a smoke alarm in the home, but no battery was found inside, according to fire officials.

NFPA’s electrical safety tips and tips sheet offer information about the safe use of electrical cords and extension cords. The electrical safety in the home section of the website offers an overview of electrical safety around the house.

First Responder Days at LEGOLAND Florida offer free park tickets during May

By Fire Safety, NFPA

First Responder Days at LEGOLAND Florida are back! During the month of May, all Police, Fire and EMS employees will receive one complimentary single day ticket to LEGOLAND Florida Resort. They may also purchase up to an additional 4 single day tickets for $40 each. 

You'll need to present your employment status photo ID at the front gate to redeem this offer. Visit www.legoland.com for more information and have fun!

May issue of Safety Source includes: Electrical Safety Month, burglar bars are examined, end of school year ideas & more

By Fire Safety, NFPA

The May issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;  

  • Electrical safety month information
  • Burglar bars examined in fatal TX fire
  • End-of-the-school-year ideas on fire safety
  • Care and Maintenance: new projects on long-term health of firefighters 

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be the first to get the latest information on happenings in the public education division, activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, Sparky the Fire Dog® and more.

Study shows older adults are on the right track for fall prevention

By Fire Safety, NFPA

Recent statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that just over 59% of the U.S. population 65 and over didn’t meet muscle strengthening or aerobic exercise recommendations for physical activity. A team of researchers decided to examine the issue more closely. In interviews conducted for the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) among people 65 and older who lived in the community studied, 5,247 women and men were asked to name their favorite activities.

The most frequently mentioned were walking/jogging; outdoor maintenance; playing sports; reading; and “other” physical activity. With the exception of reading, all of the top five were physical activities.

These findings are encouraging. Exercising regularly is one of the key fall prevention messages of NFPA’s Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults. Statistics show that 30 percent of people age 65 and older are involved in falls each year; some of these falls are fatal while others are permanently disabling.

Keeping in mind the NHATS findings, public educators and others implementing the Remembering When program in their communities can know that a vast number of older adults will be receptive to their suggestions to step up the physical activity. 

Unattended candles at center of dorm fire

By Fire Safety, NFPA

Twelve students had to be relocated from their USC dorm after a late-night mattress fire on Sunday. According to NBC Los Angeles, the fire, quickly put out by the Los Angeles Fire Department, caused $2,500 in damage, more than half to the structure itself. About 60 people had to evacuate. No one was injured.

Fire investigators determined that candles that were briefly left unattended caused the fire. Fire sprinklers held the smoky fire in check before 20 firefighters put out the fire entirely.

NFPA’s College Campus Fire Safety tips sheet advises burning candles only if they’re permitted by the school, placing them away from anything that can burn and never leaving a candle unattended. The Candle Safety tips sheet reminds us of the option of flameless candles that look and smell like real candles.

According to NBC Los Angeles, students said the dorm fire sent a strong message and that they would start taking the rule against candle use in the dorms seriously.

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In April's issue of Safety Source: new Shabbat fire safety tip sheet, carbon monoxide educational resources & more

Carbon Monoxide Poisonings Prompt Federal Legislation

By Fire Safety, NFPA

After many carbon monoxide (CO) deaths across the United States over the winter and last few months, U.S.Senators from New York, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania reintroduced legislation yesterday that would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to provide resources that support public education and installation of CO alarms.   Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas  and is known as the “invisible killer.”  This poisonous gas can come from many sources, including incomplete combustion in cars, malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances, and incomplete combustion in engine-powered equipment. The only way to detect CO is with a working CO alarm. NFPA and CPSC  have teamed up to create a carbon monoxide community toolkit. It has everything you need to raise awareness in your community about the dangers of CO. You can also use the Carbon Monoxide Safety tips sheet to learn more about CO safety.