Get Alarmed Henry
Fire Fatalities in Georgia are Double Today What They Were on This Day in 2012
With the recent fire fatality here in Henry County and the four fatalities that followed in our neighboring county, we feel it is important to re-emphasize that many fire deaths and injuries are preventable The fire problem in the United States is an ongoing and continuous battle for the fire service and the public alike. Too many Americans die and/or are injured each year in fires. Many of them might be alive today if they had only learned what to do if there is a fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), 81 percent of all fire deaths and 76 percent of all fire injuries occurred in residential buildings. Each year there is an estimated: 365,500 residential building fires reported to U.S. fire departments, 2,560 deaths, 13,275 injuries, and $6.6 billion in property loss. As of today, the USFA is reporting 127 fire fatalities in the U.S. in just the first fourteen days of 2013. In the same time period, Georgia is reporting 9 fire fatalities; double what it was on this same day in 2012.
In many of the fires reported thus far in the U.S. and in Georgia, there were no working smoke alarms in the home. Whether installed or whether the battery had been removed, the results were the same; People Died! Henry County Fire Department is urging citizens to take action to ensure their family, friends, and neighbors do not become a statistic. Having a working smoke alarm lowers the chance of dying in a fire by fifty percent. Having an escape plan that everyone in the home knows and has practiced, greatly improves the likelihood that everyone will escape. Of course there are many other fire safety tips to prevent the horrific tragedy of losing your home and loved ones to fire. Follow these fire safety tips and help prevent the fire from starting:
- Space heaters need space. Keep items at least three feet away from each heater.
- When buying a space heater, only buy one with a safety feature that automatically shuts off the power if the heater falls over.
- Carefully follow manufacturers' set up and maintenance instructions.
- If you use a kerosene heater, only use the type of fuel listed in the instructions.
- Allow your heater to cool before refueling and only refuel outdoors.
- Keep the fire inside the fireplace by making sure you have a fireplace screen large enough to stop flying sparks and rolling logs.
- Have your chimney inspected at least once a year. Tar build-up inside of the chimney can cause the chimney, roof, and the whole house to go up in flames.
- For wood stove fuel, use only seasoned wood - never use green wood, artificial logs, or trash. Seasoned wood looks dark, or gray when compared to green wood. Seasoned wood is white on the inside.
- Never take smoke alarm batteries out to put into other items like games or remote controls.
- Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound.
- If there is a fire, leave the home right away by crawling low under the smoke and Never go back inside.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
“This is a call for action Henry County. We must join together to help reduce the number of home fires, and the resulting deaths, injuries and loss of property in our communities. We rely on our firefighters to fight fires once they occur; however, the prevention of fires is up to all of us...Fire is Everyone’s Fight…Before you lay your head down on your pillow tonight, be sure you have a working smoke alarm in your home,” stated Captain Sabrina Puckett. Henry County Fire Department has a smoke alarm program to assist residents. If you or someone you know needs assistance with obtaining and/or installing a smoke alarm in their home, please call 770-288-6619.