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Monday, May 2, 2016

October is Fire Prevention Month

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Cherokee Fire Department will be hosting an Open House along with Chamber Coffee on Oct. 15 at the Cherokee Fire and Rescue Station, located on West Elm Street, starting at 9:30 a.m. File photo
As part of Fire Prevention Month, the Cherokee Fire Department will be having an Open House, along with hosting the Cherokee Chamber Coffee on Oct. 15. Chamber Coffee will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Fire Station at 300 West Elm Street and the Open House will continue until 5 p.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the Fire Station and take a tour of the station and look at the trucks and equipment and to have cookies a cup a coffee and door prizes. Plus members of the Cherokee Fire Department will be on hand to answer any question and to provide safety tips.

Furthermore, the first week in October is "Fire Prevention Week," which is why Public Safety finds it increasingly important to take the opportunity to further educate students about fire prevention. The Cherokee Fire Department will be giving rides to students at Roosevelt Elementary School today and Tuesday.

The following are tips that can help prevent a fire.

* Keep stoves free of grease build-up because of the potential fire hazard

* Familiarize your family and babysitter with your family's escape plan. The babysitter's first duty is to get the children out.

* Keep matches, lighters, candles, flammable liquids and similar materials out of the reach of children. Do not allow children to play in heater rooms, attics, under buildings, in or near vacant buildings, or on construction sites.

* Do not smoke in bed. Noncombustible ashtrays of ample size should be used for disposal of smoking materials. All burning embers must be totally extinguished before emptying ashtrays. Empty all ashtrays into metal containers; never use plastic containers for disposal of smoking materials indoors. Make it a habit to inspect all upholstered furniture before retiring.

* Only one cord should be used from each outlet plug and no more than one extension cord will be connected together.

* Do not use gasoline or other flammable liquids for cleaning purposes. Pilot lights on stoves, furnaces, and water heaters can ignite vapors of gasoline, paint thinners and similar flammable liquids.

* Do not store flammable materials in the same room as the furnace.

* Barbeque grills and turkey fryers must be at least 25 feet away from structures when in use. Turkey fryers should only be used on concrete surfaces. Never use grills under porches or overhangs. Grills should not be placed near a building until cooled. Allow ashes from barbeque grills to completely burn out and cool before discarding them.

* Good housekeeping, care, and cleanliness are synonymous with good fire prevention. Don't block exits. Accumulations of combustible materials must not be allowed in basements, attics, storage areas, closets, under stairs, or under buildings and porches. Proper periodic cleaning will prevent grease from accumulating around cooking equipment.

* Conduct a home fire safety inspection; smoke alarm care and testing, as well as emergency escape planning.

Smoke alarm information

Are children sleeping through smoke alarms?

Recent TV reports and newspaper articles have raised public anxiety about smoke alarms questioning whether children will awaken from sleep when smoke alarms activate and take appropriate actions, such as crawling under smoke and exiting the home, in the event of smoke or fire. Unfortunately viewers may draw the wrong conclusion that smoke alarms will not wake the household in an emergency.

It is crucial that public educators stress the importance of having working smoke alarms installed and maintained. Home fire deaths have dropped by 50% since the early 1970's when smoke alarms were first marketed. Fifty percent (50%) of the fire deaths that occur annually take place in the 5% of homes without smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are designed to quickly alert occupants to the presence of smoke from fire in order to provide an opportunity to evacuate the building before smoke, toxic gases and heat build up hampering escape and threatening life.

Once activated, they provide notification by means of an audible alarm with a noise level of 85dBA or more. The audible alarm may be augmented with a visual warning, such as a strobe light, for persons with physical limitations such as hearing impairments. In addition, a vibrating alert unit may be utilized under a pillow to provide protection while the person is sleeping.

What About the New Vocal Smoke Alarms?

These are very interesting but remember these key points:

1. Make sure a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) has listed the alarm.

2. These vocal smoke alarms may be installed in addition to what is required by code not instead of what is required by the code.

3. Practicing a home escape plan with children is the best way to teach them how to survive a fire. Fire educators strongly believe that that this is what works to keep children safe regardless of what type of smoke alarm you have. Teaching children the correct response to the smoke alarm (getting up and out) through practice is the key to surviving a fire.

By practicing home fire drills, both during the day and night, parents and guardians will learn if their children have any difficulties waking to traditional smoke alarms and if this technology might be helpful. The key however is practicing home escape plans. Children learn by doing.

Human behavior in smoke and fire incidents relates directly to a person's perception that fire is a threat.

Many people fail to evacuate the building because they do not perceive any threat.

No odor, no smoke or fire visible.

People associate the audible alarm signal with frequent nuisance or false alarms and become complacent when the signal sounds. "Negative conditioning".

When the smoke alarm sounds occupants to evacuate the building.

Human response to Fire Alarms:

Are their reactions during alarms the same as the responses we expect?

What do a large percentage of people actually do when an alarm is activated and the alarm sounds?

* Dismiss the event as a false alarm

* Ignore the event, fail to evacuate, continue their business/activity

* Disable the device

* To prevent further annoyance

* Because cooking sets it off

* They need a battery for another electronic appliance

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