SPRINGFIELD – The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is joining with fire service organizations across the state to encourage everyone to “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned” during Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, 2009. Last year in Illinois, there were more than 5,300 residential fires, resulting in 137 deaths and more than $171 million in property damage.
“Fires kill roughly 3,000 people nationally each year and injures thousands,” said Acting State Fire Marshal Dave A. DeFraties. “These statistics are especially tragic because most fires can be prevented and the deaths and injuries associated with them can be avoided. Fire Prevention Week is dedicated to focusing on important safety information that will help you stay safe from fire year round.”
This year’s campaign, “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned” focuses on ways to prevent fires, and the deaths, injuries, and property loss they cause. About eight in 10 of all fire deaths were caused by home fires. By providing valuable information on fire and burn prevention and safety tips, the campaign aims to help the public keep their homes and the people who live there safe from fire and burns.
According to the most recent statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments accros the U.S. responded to an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008. These fires resulted in more than 3,300 deaths, nearly 17,000 injuries and an estimated $15.5 billion in direct property loss.
Marshal DeFraties offers the following tips to protect your family and loved ones:
• Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
• Have a 3-foot “kid-free” zone around the stove.
• Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
• Teach children that hot things hurt.
• Be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.
• When using heating pads only use for 15-20 minutes at a time and don’t lie, sit or place anything on the pad.
• Be sure to properly extinguish all smoking materials, candles and turn off any unattended sources of heat.
For more information about fire safety, please visit OSFM’s website at www.state.il.us/osfm.