This is all that is left of a home where 8 people died and one in the basement survived. There were 4 children and 4 adults who lost their lives in this tragic fire. As the cold weather is upon us, there are so many things that need attending to . First, ALWAYS have smoke detectors in your home. This past July we had our home inspected for the building permit to be turned into a certificate of occupancy. We had to have working smoke detectors in the living room, each bed room and a CO2 detector. No choice, that is the rules.
We added a smoke detector to the area where the furnace is and one in the kitchen. I fear fire, a person looses everything, all photos, all belongings, all memorabilia, even life.
I read that in 1995 the odds of having a house fire with damages of $3,400 — one in 200. I am sure that number has increased with the energy costs and people trying to save with wood burners, pellet stoves, kerosene heaters.
Here are some staggering statistics:
- 80 percent of all fire deaths occur in the home (U.S. Fire Administration)
- The leading cause of fire deaths is careless smoking (U.S. Fire Administration)
- Having a working smoke detector more than doubles one’s chances of surviving a fire (U.S. Fire Administration)
- 3,675 people died in fires in the United States in 2005 – one person every 143 minutes. While the number of fires increased in 2005 over 2004, the number of deaths decreased 5.8 percent. (National Fire Protection Association).
- In 2005, 106 firefighters died in the line of duty in the United States – down from 117 in 2004 (U.S. Fire Administration)
- Adults 65 and older are more than twice as likely to die in fires as the overall population. (U.S. Fire Administration study)
- People born in 2003 have a 1-in-1,100 lifetime odds of dying due to exposure to smoke, fire or flame. Odds in any given year are 1:86,000. (National Safety Council) " from http://www2.nsc.org/library/facts/fires.htm
We need to be respectful of fire, and the hazards that can cause it. Just because there are plugs that will turn your 2 outlet into an 8 outlet, it is probably not a good idea to use all 8 things at once.
If you are using a space heater and your lights dim, it is too much strain on the electric wiring. Check with an electrician. Check the electric cords, look for dings in the coating, make sure plugs are plugged in all the way. Have emergency plans for what to do in case of a fire, ladders for second levels. Have a professional clean your chimney / stove pipes. Please take the extra time to be careful.
Some helpful information:also from http://www2.nsc.org/library/facts/fires.htm
- One is definitely NOT enough! Every home should be equipped with smoke detectors on every level, particularly outside of sleeping areas.
- Ensure that your smoke detectors are tested monthly and batteries are replaced twice a year. Change batteries when you change your clocks.
- Encourage children to help test the smoke detectors. Familiarize them with the sounds of the alarm(s).
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher in your kitchen (one rated for grease fires and electrical fires.)
- It's a good idea to keep fire extinguishers near the furnace, garage, and anywhere else a fire may start. These extinguishers are affordable, life-saving equipment for your home.
- Make sure every able-bodied member of the family is trained and familiar with the proper way to use the fire extinguishers.
- If you must use an extinguisher, make sure you have a clear way out in the event you can't put out the fire. "
When you are visiting a friend, or family, look and see if they have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, hazards. It is better to say something to protect them, then to bite your tongue, and have to regret never trying to help .
Love and prayer, Mrs Justa .