Fire safety and prevention are responsibilities that all residents of the Commonwealth should take seriously. According to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System, there were 31,229 fires reported in the Commonwealth during 2012, causing 39 civilian deaths, 322 civilian injuries, and 531 fire service injuries.
Fire Prevention Week – Oct. 5-11 – is a good time to learn about fire safety and prevention. Each year, Massachusetts strives to reduce occurrences of fire and the resulting losses of life or property damage by educating residents about an important safety theme. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is smoke alarms.
Installing and maintaining smoke alarms is crucial in helping protect your family and home as well as saving lives. Take these simple steps to ensure they are working properly:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas;
- Make sure your smoke alarms comply with Massachusetts smoke alarm regulations;
- Test smoke alarms monthly;
- Replace alkaline batteries twice a year; and,
- Replace smoke detectors that are ten years old, as recommended by the U.S. Fire Administration.
Fire Safety and Prevention Tips
It is important to practice fire safety starting at a young age and throughout your life. These simple habits can help prevent fires as well as fire-related injuries and deaths:
- Practice home fire drills to know what to do when the smoke alarm does go off;
- Make a home fire escape plan so everyone knows two ways out of the house and the location of an outdoor meeting place;
- Learn basic cooking and burn safety practices; cooking is the number one cause of fires and fire-related injuries.;
- Be aware of the potential warning signs and hazards of electrical fires;
- To prevent dryer fires, clean the filter screen and outside vents; and,
- Never leave burning candles unattended, and make sure nothing flammable is within a foot of a burning candle.
Additional Fire Safety Resources
- The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS) Public Education Hotline (877-9NO-FIRE) provides information regarding fire safety and prevention.
- Safe Kids Worldwide is a national organization that offers fire safety resources designed specifically for children.
Through fire safety and prevention education, Massachusetts residents can learn how to prevent fires and survive those that occur.
Have your own fire safety tips? Share below or tweet us, @MassGov.
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