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Fire Prevention

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How many times have you left the house in the morning and wondered, "Did I turn off the stove?" With our busy lives, the safety of our homes and families are sometimes relegated to the back of our minds - an afterthought as we hop in the car to start the day.

According to the latest statistics from the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were an estimated 365,000 reported home structure fires in 2012, resulting in almost 2,380 civilian deaths in the United States. In Ontario, there were 7522 structure fires and 82 casualties in 2011.

While the statistics are daunting, most home fires are easily preventable when we narrow our focus and take personal steps to increase our safety. One way to do this is by proactively combing through each room in your home to find signs of danger and fix them. The Pelham Fire Department is encouraging residents and their families to put their safety first by performing a home fire prevention inspection during Fire Prevention Week. You can pick up a checklist at the Pelham Fire Department at 177 Highway 20 West or view one by visiting the Fire Prevention Checklist.

There are also a number of simple steps that you can put into action to keep your home safe from fire:

  • Burns: Bath and shower water should be no higher than 38 degrees Celsius.
  • Cooking: Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period time, turn off the stove.
  • Heating: Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from heating equipment.
  • Electrical: Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords; use extension cords for temporary wiring only. Consider having additional circuits or receptacles added by a qualified electrician.
  • Smoking: If you smoke, smoke outside; wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays.

As firefighters and fire safety educators, fire prevention is always on our minds. We hope that you use the home fire prevention checklist to put your safety first year-round.

More fire prevention information: