, Fire Prevention Week 2015, Harrington Group Inc

Celebrate like a Fire Protection Engineer

It’s been 144 years since the Great Chicago fire, and the National Fire Protection Association wants to remind everybody about fire prevention and safety in its remembrance. Originally established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920 as a single day and extended to a week two years later, Fire Protection Week takes place in early October. This year’s week in remembrance of the disaster that killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless is October 4-10.

We know that just because at HGI we eat, sleep, and breathe fire protection, doesn’t mean everyone else does. For some reason, not everybody seems to immediately look for sprinkler systems and smoke detectors upon entering a new building! And, preventing and safely reacting to fires doesn’t always come second nature. That’s why we’ve put together a day-by-day guide with some thoughts on how to observe Fire Prevention week.

Smoke Alarm Sunday

This year’s theme is “Hear the beep where you sleep: Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm,” so what better way to start the week than by learning a thing or two about your smoke alarms?

According to the NFPA, about half of home fire deaths happen between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.—prime sleeping hours. Waking up in the middle of the night to the incessant BEEP BEEP BEEP may be unpleasant, but it’s certainly better than the alternative.

Here are a few basic tips when it comes to smoke alarms:

  • Install one in every bedroom.
  • Consider investing in an interconnected system—if one alarm sounds, they all sound, and everyone in every corner of the house will be alerted at the same time.
  • Test the alarm once a month. The NFPA reports that in home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but didn’t operate, nearly half of those alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
  • Don’t ignore that little chirping sound the smoke detector makes—that means the battery is dying. Replace the battery and then test the alarm.

Emergency Plan Monday

So you’ve installed and tested all your smoke alarms, and explained to your kids what that BEEP BEEP BEEP means. Have you talked to your family or roommates about an emergency escape plan in case of a fire? Does everybody know the quickest and safest way out of the house? Sit down with a diagram of the home and talk to everyone about an emergency action plan.

Test-your-Extinguisher Tuesday

Did you know that fire extinguishers have expiration dates? Grab it from the broom closet or underneath the sink and take a minute to double-check that it’s still within its safe and effective lifespan. While you’re at it, take the family outside and make sure everybody knows how to properly use an extinguisher in case of an emergency. For a video demonstration on how to properly use an extinguisher, check out our post: Portable Fire Extinguishers 101.

Weather Prep Wednesday

The colder months are the leading time of year for home fires, and winter is just around the corner. As you’re cranking up the thermostat, piling blankets on the couch and lighting seasonal candles, make sure you’re keeping fire prevention in mind. Keep curtains, blankets and furniture away from heating vents, use space heaters that have automatic shut-offs, and never leave a room where candles are burning.

Thankful Thursday

While there’s a lot you can do on your own to prevent fires in the home, don’t forget about the people on the front line. Take a moment to thank a fire protection engineer for his or her work in making buildings safer, or more importantly, a firefighter for putting their own lives on the line every day. Also, please consider donating to an organization like the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Fire Prevention Week 2015, Harrington Group Inc

Fire Safety Friday

Nothing says fall quite like a backyard bonfire. But before you start throwing matches on a pile of sticks, make sure you and your family are familiar with all the safety precautions around fire-building. Does your locality allow in-ground fires, or do you need to invest in an above-ground fire pit? A few general safety tips when it comes to building and enjoying a fire:

  • Before even lighting a match, fill a bucket of water and place it next to the fire ring.
  • If you’re cozying up to a fire outside, make sure it’s a safe distance from all buildings, trees and other flammable structures.
  • If you prefer sitting by the indoor fireplace, don’t forget to have it inspected and cleaned first, and always use dry, seasoned wood.
  • Make sure someone is watching the fire at all times.
  • Don’t leave the fire until it’s 100% out.
  • Dispose of all ashes in a covered metal container.

, Fire Prevention Week 2015, Harrington Group IncFor a fun fire-related project that’s safe to do with the kids, considering Googling a classic Girl Scout tradition: edible campfires.

Sit-down Saturday

On the last day of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, sit down with everyone in your home to talk about it all. What did you learn? Was there anything surprising? What other questions/concerns do you have?

For more information and things like a Fire Prevention Week online quiz and “Fire Prevention Week Challenge,” visit www.firepreventionweek.org.


, Fire Prevention Week 2015, Harrington Group Inc