It’s been a really busy summer, and I’m looking forward to the chilly days and the opportunity to relax a bit. As the cool weather is setting in, my thoughts are turning to lighting up the fireplace and getting cozy with a warm cup of cocoa and a great book. There’s nothing better than the first few weeks of fall in Minnesota and enjoying the warmth of a fire. But wait a minute—is there anything that I should be doing to make sure I am fire-safe?
September was National Preparedness Month (the 2018 theme was: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.), and now, October 7–13 is National Fire Prevention Week. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), it has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. The Chicago 1871 video on the organization's website is a sobering reminder of lives lost and property destroyed.
Last year, 21 catastrophic fires resulted in 150 fatalities, topped by a series of historic California wildfires that killed 44 people. Read the NFPA Journal's September/October 2018 article "Catastrophic Multiple Death Fires in 2017" for more information on these recent fires.
Visit the National Fire Protection Association web page for lots of information on fire safety for work and home.
The 2018 NFPA campaign is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”
Fire Safety at Home
NFPA has some great free resources available for the home and community. Here are a few examples:
Other Great Resources
What about Fire Safety at Work and in the Laboratory?
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace fires and explosions kill 200 people and injure more than 5,000 workers each year, and they cost businesses more than $2.3 billion in property damage. Explosions and fires account for 3% of workplace injuries and have the highest casualty rate of all probable workplace accidents.
Below are some resources you may find useful:
Wow, that’s a lot of information on fire safety and emergency preparedness. Keep in mind, this is just a sampling of many wonderful resources available, so take a look through the items that relate to your work and personal time and learn about ways to take safety into your own hands.
Okay, I just threw a load of clothes into the dryer, but before I grab that new book I have been wanting to read, I think I’m going to schedule a chimney flue inspection and cleaning, make sure my cat doesn’t walk across my gas stove while I’m heating my cocoa, check the batteries in my smoke detectors, and schedule our family’s annual evacuation drill (if I can find them).
Hoping you all stay warm and safe in the cooler weather.