The following news release is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which serves Diamond Bar and Walnut.
October is Fire Safety Month,
and the most important place to prevent fire is in your own home.
More than 2,500 Americans die each year
in house fires, and 70 percent of all fire deaths occur in homes without
working smoke detectors. The Los
Angeles County Fire Department is asking all residents to protect themselves in
their homes by planning ahead, spotting potential home fire hazards, and making
Throughout October, home fire prevention and safety tips will be shared on the Fire Department’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, and its website at www.fire.lacounty.gov.
“The number one thing to do is have at least one working smoke detector in your home,” says Assistant Fire Chief Dave Stone. “Smoke detectors are inexpensive and provide critical protection for you and your family. Install one on every level of your home. Just doing this can double your chances of survival.”
Just having smoke detectors isn’t enough; it is equally important to test them monthly and keep them clean and operable.
“Make sure to replace the batteries twice a year, when we start and end daylight savings time in the spring and fall,” says Stone. “Smoke detectors themselves should also be replaced every 10 years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.”
While smoke detectors can only warn you about danger, residents should take action to prevent all types of home fire dangers. For example, never overload circuits or extension cords, and don’t place cords or wires under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas. Also, use appliances wisely by following the manufacturer’s safety precautions. For example, don’t use your gas oven to heat your home. And be sure to unplug appliances when not in use.
“Safety also means having a home fire evacuation plan and practicing it as a family at least twice a year,” says Chief Stone. “Make sure that you know two ways out of each room of your home, and do not block these two areas with furnishings. If you are going to use a window as an escape route, make sure that there are no bars on the windows. If they do, make sure that they have a quick release lever on them. And once you’re out of the house, stay out. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Tell your firefighters instead – they are trained and equipped to perform rescues safely.”
As temperatures start to cool down across Southern California, make sure to check your home furnace to see that it is working properly before its first seasonal use. Don’t risk your safety trying to stay warm!