In 2020, 1,291,500 fires were reported within the United States, resulting in 3,704 deaths and more than 16,000 injuries. Approximately 50 percent of residential fires started during cooking, 9 percent were related to heating systems, 7.5 percent were caused by carelessness, and around 7 percent were related to electrical malfunctions. Of non-residential fires, 30 percent were a result of cooking activities, 15 percent were because of careless behaviors, 11 percent were intentional, and 7 percent were related to electrical sources.
October is designated as National Fire Prevention Month by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). This year’s campaign focus is Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™.
It is important for homeowners and businesses to focus on fire prevention, especially as we head into the winter heating season. You can take the following fire prevention steps to minimize your risks:
- Perform routine inspections on heating system operations.
- Make housekeeping a priority, keeping flammable and combustible materials away from heat sources.
- Keep exits routes and doorways obstruction free.
- Ensure fire extinguishers are readily accessible.
- Establish fire escape plans for all occupants.
- Post signage to help direct people to safe exits, and include procedures for individuals who may need assistance due to physical disabilities.
- Establish a rally or muster point in a safe location outside the building.
- Perform a head count to assure all occupants are accounted for during an emergency.
- Set reminders to test your alarm systems, including fire, carbon monoxide, and any others related to your building’s operations.
- Make sure occupants know the various alarm types and the sound each one makes.
- Practice your evacuation procedures.
- Train people how to use fire extinguishers.
- Post emergency contact information.
Businesses are required to conduct a fire drill at least once a year. The more familiar your staff are with fire drill procedures, the higher the odds they will remain safe during an emergency. Regular fire drills help ensure the correct procedures are in place, removing panic and uncertainty for all concerned. Fire drills are also an important opportunity to analyze the effectiveness of your evacuation procedures and exit routes and make improvements where necessary.
RETTEW offers comprehensive fire extinguisher training to ensure class participants are competent in fire types, how to fight each fire type, and how to prevent fires. Training includes emergency and evacuation procedures specific to your facility/organization and a hands-on portion with a state-of-the-art fire simulator and live training extinguishers. Please contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 for more information.
Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.