Fire Prevention Week is a great time to get your house prepared for fire prevention. Agent Lynn Bennett of The Bennett Agency would like to remind Liberty Countians that Fire Prevention Week is this week, through Saturday. Fire Prevention Day is Friday.
In 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 29,200 home structure fires that were intentionally set. These fires caused 380 deaths, 880 injuries and $531 million in direct property damage. Intentionally set fires accounted for 8 percent of reported home fires, 14 percent of home fire deaths, 7 percent of home fire injuries and 8 percent of the direct property damage from home fires, according to NFPA.org.
Bennett is teaming up with Georgia Arson Control Board to focus on preventing the leading causes of home fires: cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials.
According to Bennett, “A few fire safety tips can go a long way in protecting your family.”
He offers these tips:
• Always be sure that you have a smoke detector that is working with fresh batteries.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn the stove off.
• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace with a fire screen, wood stove or portable space heater.
• Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
• Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
• If you smoke, smoke outside.
• Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
• Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
The Georgia Arson Control Program was formed in January 1979 by property and casualty insurers writing business in Georgia. GAC, Georgia Department of Insurance and Safety Fire, and state and local law enforcement agencies, established an arson hotline, 1-800-282-5804. A reward fund was initiated from which monetary rewards of up to $10,000 are given to individuals who come forward with information that results in the arrest and conviction of arsonists.