Fire Safety Awareness

In his weekly safety tip to all employees, Monroe County Safety Officer Mark Gongre put together a good check list of information to reinforce some fire safety basics:

Each year, more than 4,000 Americans die in fires, more than 25,000 are injured and more than 100 firefighters are killed while on duty.  In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening and in five minutes a residence can become engulfed in flames.

Fire Facts:

  • Fire is Dark:  Fire produces gases that make you feel disoriented and drowsy.  Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to one ratio.
  • Fire is Hot:  Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames.  Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs.

Smoke Alarms:

  • Decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
  • Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year. Replace detectors every 10 years.

Fire Extinguishers:

  • Call 911 immediately before attempting to extinguish a fire yourself.
  • Have at least two working Fire Extinguishers in the home and ensure everyone knows how to use them.
  • Remember PASS – Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep.
  • Check the gauge monthly on the extinguishers.

Escaping a Fire:

  • Have an escape plan and PRACTICE IT!
  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor when escaping a fire.
  • If your home has only one exit, you MUST have an alternate means of escape (windows, rope/safety ladder etc.)
  • Before exiting a closed door, feel it with the back of your hand to determine the heat level on the other side.
  • Once you’re out – STAY OUT!  Material possessions can all be replaced.

Fire Factoids:

  • 83% of all civilian fire deaths occur in residences.
  • Direct loss due to fires is estimated at $8.6 billion annually.
  • Intentionally set structure fires cause an estimated $664 million worth of damages yearly.

“The timing for this week’s safety tip is perfect due to the very tragic house fire here in the County” said Fire Chief Jim Callahan.  “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and loved ones affected by this terrible tragedy.  Please everyone be careful and safe.”


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