Every year the month of October is recognized as National Fire Prevention Month. The purpose of this month is to increase the awareness of home fire prevention. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, local fire departments responded to an estimated 1.35 million fires in 2021. Along with this, the property damage that resulted from these fires was estimated at $15.9 billion. National Fire Prevention Month is important because it is a time to focus on education and preparedness to prevent house fires.
During National Fire Prevention Month, it is important to devise a plan in case of a fire. The National Fire Prevention Association reports that only 43% of homeowners have an escape plan. The American Red Cross provides the following tips to create an effective safety plan.
● Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
● Choose a safe meeting place a safe distance from your home.
● Practice getting low and moving to your exits in case there is smoke.
● Ensure children know what a fire alarm sounds like and what actions should be taken in the event an alarm goes off.
● Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly and that security bars can be properly opened.
In addition to a functional safety plan, it is important to check the smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, three of every five house fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with broken smoke alarms. When smoke alarms do not operate correctly, it is due to missing, disconnected, or depleted batteries. Therefore, it is important to note smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years from the manufacturer’s date listed on the back of the alarm.
For more information about National Fire Prevention Month, please visit the National Fire Protection Association. Additionally, visit the American Red Cross to learn more about fire escape plans. Along with this, you can visit First Alert to learn more about house fire prevention tips.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns, or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Aransas County and part of Nueces County. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 512-463-0672.