YONKERS, NY — National Fire Prevention Week 2011 will be observed from October 9-15. This year’s theme is Protect Your Family from Fire, and according to Yonkers Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention and Investigation John Flynn, the 2011 campaign is all about keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities safer from fire.
The week also commemorates the Great Chicago Fire which occurred on Oct. 9, 1871, according to Chief Flynn. During the fire more than 17,000 buildings burned, more than 250 people died, and 100,000 people were left homeless.
- 1. Installing and maintaining smoke alarms will reduce your chances of dying in a fire in half. Install alarms outside and inside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
- Stay in the kitchen while cooking. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and associated injuries, and is a major cause of home fire deaths. Unattended cooking is by the leading cause of these fires.
- Plan and practice a home fire escape plan. Smoke and fire kills! You may have less than three minutes to get out safely. Do not attempt to fight the fire. Leave and close the door behind you. Call 911 from a safe location
- Use heating equipment safely. Heating equipment is the second leading cause of all reported home fires and home fire deaths. Have heating equipment and chimney flues serviced annually by a qualified technician. Give space heaters space. Keep the heater at least three feet from any combustible material, such as furniture and bedding. Space heaters are responsible for two out of every three home heating fires. NEVER use an extension cord with a space heater.
- Candles are hazardous. Use flashlights during power outages, not candles. If you do burn candles indoors, blow them out before leaving the room, and keep them way from things that can burn, such as curtains.
“The Yonkers Fire Department stands ready to protect your family from fires and all sorts of emergencies throughout the year”, states Chief Flynn. “Annual observances such as National Fire Prevention Week are great opportunities for the community to focus on fire hazards. We encourage you to pass this vital information on to your family and friends, and to practice fire safety every day of the year.
John Flynn is Chief of Fire Prevention and Investigation with the Yonkers Fire Department.