Fire prevention week safety message

  • Published
  • By Col. David H. Maharrey Jr.,
  • 96th Civil Engineer Group
The base fire department, along with fire departments across the nation, are commemorating National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4-10. 

Fire Prevention Week is a time to check evacuation plans at home and in the workplace to ensure the safety of loved ones and co-workers. It is also a time to check for and eliminate hidden hazards and prepare families and co-workers for any emergency situation. 

Finally, it is a great time to make sure all sleeping areas are equipped with smoke detectors, checking them at least semi-annually to ensure you will be properly notified if a fire should occur. 

Fire Prevention Week 2009 focuses on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires. That's why the theme of Fire Prevention Week 2009 is "IT'S FIRE PREVENTION WEEK: STAY FIRE SMART! DON'T GET BURNED." 

Burn injuries result in hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits a year. Thermal burns outnumber scalds nearly two to one. Careless attention to detail when cooking is one way to get burned or worse yet, burn your house down.

Here are a few safety tips from the Eglin Fire Department and the NFPA: 

Don't Get Burned:
Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
Have a three foot "kid-free" zone around the stove.
Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
Water burns?
To avoid scalds, set the thermostat setting in your hot water heater to no higher than 120 degrees F.
Remember young children and older adults skin burns more easily.
Test the water before placing a child or yourself in the tub.
Never leave young children alone in the tub, shower or near a sink. 

Cool a Burn:
Treat a burn right away. Put it in cool water for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Do not use butter!
If the burn is bigger than your fist or if you have any questions, get medical help right away.
Remove all clothing, diapers, jewelry and metal from the burned areas. 

Cooking with Caution:
The leading cause of fire in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
Pay attention to what you are cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
If you must leave the kitchen for a short time, turn off the stove.
If you have young children, use the stoves back burners whenever possible.
Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting or short sleeves.