Every day, six people die in home fires.
That’s 2,310 deaths on average each year.
Take a Good, Better, Best approach to fire safety in your home. Fires can happen anytime, so be ready!
- Install a working smoke alarm in your home. Consumers who have working smoke alarms in their homes die in fires at about half the rate of those who do not.
- Change the batteries every year.
- Replace the smoke alarms every 10 years. After all, smoke alarms don’t last forever.
- Multiple working smoke alarms are better than one. Install alarms on every level of your house, inside each bedroom and outside sleeping areas.
- Interconnect your smoke alarms. That way, if one smoke alarm detects a fire, all smoke alarms will sound.
- Consider installing smoke alarms that use 10-year sealed batteries. They don’t require annual battery changes.
- Install two types of working smoke alarms in your home: ionization and photoelectric alarms. Smoke alarms use one or both of these methods, sometimes with a heat detector, to warn you about a fire. The safety standard for smoke alarms has been improved and should result in improvements to how both types of alarms perform. Ionization alarms respond quickly to flaming fires and photoelectric detectors respond sooner to smoldering fires. Make sure all alarms are interconnected.
- Have a fire escape plan and practice it. A smoke alarm can’t save your family’s lives if everyone doesn’t know what to do when it sounds. Have two ways to get out of each room and set a pre-arranged meeting place outside. And remember, once you are out of the house, stay out.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/10/smoke-alarms-good-better-best/
Just in time for the cold weather, we have new information on carbon monoxide (CO) deaths associated with the use of consumer products.
In 2008 — the latest year for which we have complete data — there were about 190 unintentional non-fire CO-poisoning deaths associated with consumer products under our jurisdiction. The product associated with most of these deaths? Portable generators.
As more people use portable generators, the numbers of CO-related deaths have increased. In 1999 there were seven generator-related CO deaths. In 2008 the number of deaths reached 86. That’s an increase of more than 1,000 percent.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible killer that strikes within minutes. You can protect yourself with a few simple safety rules:
- Install working CO alarms in your home. Make sure the alarm is battery-operated or has a battery-backup so it works during a power outage.
- Keep all generators outside of your home, away from doors and windows.
- Never use a generator in a garage, basement, crawl space, shed or on a porch.
Most CO-related deaths happen from November through February — the cold months. This makes sense, of course. In colder months, we use our furnaces and fuel-burning space heaters. When we lose power during storms, more and more of you power up your portable generators.
CO deaths also occur when charcoal is used indoors. Just like generators, keep burning charcoal outside, away from the house.
Let’s see if we can work together to drop the number of carbon monoxide-related deaths.
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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/01/co-deaths-continue-to-rise/
As temperatures go up, so do windows in many homes. Opening windows in your home to enjoy the warmer temperatures may seem harmless, but open windows have proven to be sources of injury and death for young children.
This week, CPSC joins the National Safety Council in recognizing National Window Safety Week and urges parents and caregivers to be aware of the dangers of leaving windows open when young children are present.
According to CPSC data, falls from windows result in an average of about eight deaths yearly to children five years or younger, while an estimated 3,300 children ages five and younger are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency departments. On average, one of every three children, about 34 percent, required hospitalization after falling from a window.
So, watch this video. And take five minutes to prevent a window fall in your home.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/04/put-safety-first-before-opening-a-window/
CPSC estimates that home heating was associated with about 33,300 fires and 180 fire deaths per year from 2005 to 2007. Cooking and home heating are the leading causes of residential building fires during winter.
In addition, there has been an increasing trend in unintentional non-fire CO deaths associated with consumer products since 1999. CPSC staff estimates that there were 184 CO poisoning deaths on average per year from from 2005-2007 compared with 122 deaths per year from 1999-2001. Since 1999, the majority of CO deaths have been associated with heating systems and portable generators.
CPSC, along with USFA, recommend that, in addition to having working smoke and CO alarms in your homes, you should follow these safety tips to prevent fires and CO poisoning:
- Place space heaters on a floor that is flat and level. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials; and place space heaters out of the flow of foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn the heater off when you leave the area. See CPSC’s electric space heater safety alert for more space heater safety tips.
- Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater. Even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of a fire.
- Have fireplace flues and chimneys inspected for leakage and blockage from creosote or debris every year.
- Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire, and keep it open until the ashes are cool. An open damper may help prevent build-up of poisonous gases inside the home.
- Store fireplace ashes in a fire-resistant container, and cover the container with a lid. Keep the container outdoors and away from combustibles. Dispose of ashes carefully, keeping them away from dry leaves, trash or other combustible materials.
Preventing CO poisoning
- Schedule a yearly professional inspection of all fuel-burning home heating systems, including furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, wood stoves, water heaters, chimneys, flues and vents.
- NEVER operate a portable gasoline-powered generator in an enclosed space, such as a garage, shed, or crawlspace, or in the home.
- Keep portable generators as far away from your home and your neighbors’ homes as possible – away from open doors, windows or vents that could allow deadly carbon monoxide into the home.
- When purchasing a space heater, ask the salesperson whether the heater has been safety-certified. A certified heater will have a safety certification mark. These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features. An unvented gas space heater that meets current safety standards will shut off if oxygen levels fall too low.
- Do not use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined space, unless they are designed specifically for indoor use. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use.
- Never use gas or electric stoves to heat the home. They are not intended for that purpose and can pose a CO or fire hazard.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/01/brrrrr-stay-safe-in-these-cold-months/