This week is National Burn Awareness Week (NBAW) – which is an excellent opportunity to increase burn awareness and prevent fires from occurring! During NBAW, we want to bring attention to fire safety and prevention to help lower the number of burn injuries.
Approximately every minute, someone in the United States endures a burn injury severe enough to require treatment. Lionel Crowther is one of the many firefighters who was injured while on duty. Crowther responded to what seemed to be a routine garage fire, but within minutes, a flashover occurred. When the fire was cleared, two fire captains had been killed, and Crowther was among four severely injured firefighters.
Unfortunately, Crowther’s story is not uncommon, but with an increased awareness of fire safety and prevention, we can lower the number of fire-related injuries and deaths together. NBAW is the perfect time to learn more about fire prevention and what you can do to prevent and prepare for a home fire.
- Smoke Alarms: Did you know that three of every five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms? Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a key role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. They should be installed on every floor and in every sleeping room. Be sure to test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Fire Extinguishers: It is also important to have at least one fire extinguisher on every level, especially in the kitchen. In many cases, fire extinguishers are the first line of defense and often contain or extinguish a fire.
- Escape Routes: Ensure that every room has at least two escape routes in case of a home fire. You may need to purchase escape ladders, especially for second story rooms. Escape ladders are not required by law, but they could be beneficial in case of a house fire. Once you establish escape routes, practice at least twice a year.
- Teach: It is essential to teach the whole family about fire safety and what to do in case of an emergency. This includes making an emergency communications plan, knowing where to meet up outside, and making sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
Fire sprinklers can dramatically reduce the flames, heat, and smoke produced in a fire and help save lives and prevent further damage. In fact, sprinklers lowered death rates by 87% when they were installed correctly and maintained. Sprinklers are activated within 30-60 seconds by heat, not by smoke. Without the help of fire sprinklers, a fire can spread and proliferate, endangering both residents, firefighters, and cause more damage. Sprinkler systems provide powerful protection from fire, and they work automatically and immediately, lowering the risk of fire-related injuries, damage, and deaths.
During NBAW, we encourage you to help prevent fires and burn injuries from occurring by increasing your prevention measures and raising awareness. If you or a loved one was injured by fire, please visit www.Phoenix-Society.org to find resources and support for recovery. If you are a firefighter or first responder, please visit www.Phoenix-Society.org/Fire-Protection-Professionals for additional assistance.