SEATTLE, Wash. -- National Fire Prevention Week 2008 will be observed from October 5-11, and this year's theme is "Prevent Home Fires." According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Acting Regional Administrator Dennis Hunsinger, most Americans underestimate their risk for fire, and many either lack emergency response plans-or fail to practice them with fire drills.
"Annual observances like National Fire Prevention Week are excellent opportunities to focus on fire hazards - but we should all practice fire safety every day-at work, at play, and particularly at home," said Hunsinger. "The most common causes of home fires result from cooking, heating, electrical malfunction, smoking materials and candles."
Safety tips to reduce home fires include:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking.? Many cooking fires start from "unattended" cooking.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned annually by qualified professionals.
- If you smoke, smoke outside.
- Keep flammable materials away from light bulbs, light fixtures and lamps.
- Use flashlights during power outages, not candles.? If you do burn candles indoors, blow them out before leaving the room, and keep them away from things that can burn.
Hunsinger also cautions against complacency. "As winter approaches, the rate of fire and fire-related deaths increase. FEMA, and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) offer a wealth of safety information, fire prevention tips and resources online: www.fema.gov and www.usfa.dhs.gov.? ?And I encourage everyone to contact their local fire department to learn more about making their homes safer from fire, or how to best participate in fire prevention activities."
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.