New Year’s Resolutions for Your Community

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

As 2009 approaches, many people are contemplating their New Year’s resolutions. Your Fire Corps team can act now to convince community members to include a few items that could save their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Below are five examples of practical safety resolutions you can distribute in your community, along with the reasons each one is so important:

  • Check smoke alarms once a month to ensure they are working. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the death rate is twice as high in home fires without working smoke alarms as in those with working smoke alarms. The NFPA also estimates 890 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms.

  • Quit smoking or use fire-safe cigarettes. According to the NFPA, smoking-material fires (including those started by cigarettes and cigars) result in more deaths per year than any other type of fire. Fire-safe cigarettes, which are designed to self-extinguish if dropped or left unattended, are a safer alternative, but under certain conditions, they are still capable of starting a fire.

  • Make an escape plan and practice it. Your escape plan should include two ways out of every room and it should be practiced at least twice a year. Make sure that you practice in the dark too, since half of all home fire deaths occur between 11pm and 7am, according to the NFPA.

  • Always place portable generators outside the home. Portable generators, often used during power outages, emit large amounts of carbon monoxide, which can be fatal in enclosed locations. The gas is colorless and odorless, but takes affect within minutes.

  • Wear a helmet. Whenever riding a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, be a good example for children and always wear a helmet – preferably one that meets U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. The CPSC estimates that helmets can decrease the possibility of a head injury by 85 percent.

For more safety tips on everything from cribs to ladders to space heaters, visit the CPSC safety tips archive. Fire Corps also has many prevention tips available through our National Preparedness Month Resource Center.

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