FEMA Sounds the Alarm for National Fire Prevention Week 2011

"The most common causes of home fires include cooking, heating, electrical malfunction, smoking materials, and candles,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy.

National Fire Prevention Week 2011 will be observed Oct. 9-15. This year’s theme is: Protect Your Family from Fire, and according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, the 2011 campaign is all about keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities safer from fire.

“Annual observances like National Fire Prevention Week are excellent opportunities to focus on fire hazards—but we should all practice fire safety every day—at work, at play, and particularly at home,” Murphy said. “The most common causes of home fires include cooking, heating, electrical malfunction, smoking materials, and candles.”

Safety tips to reduce home fires include:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Many cooking fires start from “unattended” cooking.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned annually.
  • If you smoke, smoke outside.
  • Keep flammable materials away from light bulbs, light fixtures, and lamps.
  • Use flashlights during power outages, not candles. If you do burn candles indoors, blow them out before leaving the room, and keep them away from things that can burn.

Murphy also cautions against complacency. “It’s officially Fall, and as temperatures become cooler, the rate of fire and fire-related deaths increase. FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) offer a wealth of safety information, fire prevention tips and resources online: www.fema.gov and www.usfa.dhs.gov,” Murphy said. “I encourage everyone to contact their local fire department to learn more about making their homes safer from fire, or how to best participate in fire prevention activities.”

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