October is Fire Prevention Month

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The leaves are changing, and the weather is cooling down! It’s October, and it’s time for bonfires, fireplaces, and heaters to start taking center stage. Make sure your home is prepared for a fire-safe fall. By testing your smoke alarms, installing a carbon monoxide detector to combat “the silent killer”, and reviewing your family’s fire escape plan – Tennesseans will be better protected from home fires and life safety challenges.

Look. Listen. Learn.
Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere. Fire prevention week is October 7-13, 2018.

This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:

Bargers Oct2018 Image2LOOK
Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

LISTEN
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Bargers Oct2018 Image1About Fire Prevention Week
Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. Over the years, thousands of cities have participated in Fire Prevention Week and expanded the prevention awareness throughout the month
of October.   Source: NFPA

Tennessee now 11th in the Nation
Tennessee historically has had a high fire mortality rate along with many other southern states. In fact, 9 of the top 10 highest fire mortality states are in the U.S. Census Southern Regions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported Tennessee’s 2006-2010 fire mortality rate to be 19.3 deaths per million, which means for every 1 million people in Tennessee, 19.3 deaths occur annually. The 19.3 deaths per million rate gave Tennessee the nation’s 8th highest fire mortality rate in 2010.

In 2017, NFPA released an updated report on the nation’s fire mortality rates. Tennessee’s fire mortality rate dropped from 19.3 deaths per million (2006-2010) to 14.6 deaths per million (2011-2015), a 24% reduction. This is the single largest reduction in fire mortality rate in Tennessee’s recorded history. In addition, Tennessee’s ranking among the nation’s fire mortality rates dropped from 8th to 11th.

Fire Fatalities and Mortality Rate In Tennessee
As of September 14th, 2018, 77 accidental or undetermined civilian structure fire fatalities have been reported. Of the fatalities so far, 75 resulted from fires on residential property, one resulted from a fire on a commercial property, and one resulted from a fire on industrial property. There had been 56 fatalities by this date in 2017, and 53 by this date in 2016. The last confirmed fatal fire was in Chester County where a male resident died in a house fire on August 25th.

Review complete fire statistics for the State of Tennessee – sourced by Department of Commerce and Insurance, State of Tennessee

HELPFUL INFORMATION
Fire Facts
Disability Safety Tips
Escape Planning Tips
Heating Safety Tips
Smoke Alarm Tips
Smoke Alarm (disability) Tips

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The ABCs of Fire Extinguishers

The ABCs of Fire Extinguishers
Nashville Home Inspection’s Monthly Tip; October 2014

FireExtOver half of U.S. homes are equipped with a portable fire extinguisher. It is important to understand fire extinguisher ratings and know how and when to use one.

Fire extinguishers are not the first thing to grab in the event of a fire – but rather a landline or cell phone. The fire department must always be alerted first before an attempt to fight a home fire and all occupants of the home must be evacuated. Finally, an evaluation of the fire should be made quickly, regarding its size and scope. If a fire is already raging or the room is filled with smoke, staying far away from the structure is the best option.

For small or contained fires, however, a homeowner can reach for an appropriately-rated fire extinguisher that may be on hand.

Extinguishers are rated according to the properties of the fire, the most common for residential use are Class A, B or C, or a multi-use extinguisher. Most fire extinguishers display symbols to show suitability for use on a fire, based on material(s) burning.

For example, Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood or paper. Class B extinguishers should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, etc. Class C extinguishers are suitable for fires in “live” electrical equipment. Extinguishers intended to handle this type of fire cannot use chemicals that are conductive.

Fire extinguishers assigned multiple letters, such as ABC, can be used against fires of types A, B or C. Most residential extinguishers are BC or ABC rated. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends selecting a multi-purpose extinguisher that can be used on all types of home fires.

The NFPA also recommends that home extinguishers be tested every five or twelve years, depending on the model of extinguisher. The standard method of testing, “hydrostatic,” is conducted underwater where the cylinders are subjected to pressures that exceed their ratings. Vessels that fail the test are destroyed, while the rest are reassembled and placed back into service.

Unfortunately, an expiration date cannot be fully trusted. Without testing, there is no guarantee that an older extinguisher is functional. Given the destructive potential of a fire and the relatively low cost for a new extinguisher, it is advisable to replace older extinguishers, or at least have the tested.

Fire extinguishers can be purchased at most home supply stores starting at around $40, and ranging higher, depending on the size of the extinguisher. Most residential models cannot be recharged.

Provided by: John Watkins, Nashville Home Inspection

KENNETH BARGERS, REALTOR® | Bargers Solutions real estate : marketing
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October 2010 is National Fire Prevention Month

In Tennessee, we continue to remain at the top in fire deaths per capita.  October is National Fire Prevention Month focusing on fire safety and awareness and the National Fire Protection Association highlights the month with its Fire Prevention Week.  Please remember to test your smoke detectors and have them monitored by a qualified and licensed security firm.

“Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” is NFPA’s official theme for Fire Prevention Week (FPW), October 3-9. If you’re wondering why NFPA, the official sponsor of FPW for nearly 90 years, is focusing on smoke alarms when most homes already have at least one, you’ve come to the right place!

This year’s campaign is designed to educate people about the importance of smoke alarms and encourages everyone to take the steps necessary to update and maintain their home smoke alarm protection.

Smoke Alarms

  • Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a reported fire in half.
  • Most homes (96%) have at least one smoke alarm (according to a 2008 telephone survey.)
  • Overall, three-quarters of all U.S. homes have at least one working smoke alarm.
  • Each year, nearly 3,000 people die in U.S. home fires.
  • In 2003-2006, roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from home fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.  – No smoke alarms were present in 40% of the home fire deaths.  – In 23% of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
  • In more than half of the reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate even though the fire was large enough, batteries were missing or disconnected. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected alarms.
  • More than half of the smoke alarms found in reported fires and two-thirds of the alarms found in homes with fire deaths were powered by battery only.
  • Most homes still have smoke alarms powered by battery only. In a 2007 American Housing Survey (AHS), 67% of the respondents who reported having smoke alarms said they were powered by battery only.
  • In a 2008 telephone survey, only 12% knew that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate a smoke alarm, hard-wired alarms operated 91% of the time; battery-powered smoke alarms operated 75% of the time.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms on all floors increase safety.  – In a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) survey of households with any fires, interconnected smoke alarms were more likely to operate and alert occupants to a fire. (This includes fires in which the fire department was not called.)
Fire

  • Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and injuries.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths.
  • Heating is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths and fire injuries.
  • Electrical failures or malfunctions are factors in roughly 50,000 reported fires each year.
  • Roughly 30, 000 intentionally set home structure fires are reported each year.
In 2008

  • U.S. fire departments responded to 386,500 home fires.
  • Home fires killed 2,755 people and injured 13,160.
  • Someone was injured in a reported home fire every 40 minutes.
  • Roughly eight people died in home fires every day.
  • A fire department responded to a home fire every 82 seconds.
  • 83% of all fire deaths and 79% of fire injuries resulted from home fires.
Source:  National Fire Protection Association; www.nfpa.org