In the News September 2012
Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR®
a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors
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Suddenly you're awake. The first thought that comes to mind is rolling over and going back to sleep but something is not right. The air is thick that the room seems hazy. After a moment it comes to you, the house is on fire.
The next few decisions you make are pivotal. Make the right ones and the chances of getting out safely go up dramatically. Everyone in the family needs to know how to react and having a plan that has been discussed is essential for everyone to get out. Here are some things you should know and teach everyone.
First thing first, approach the door and put your hand near it to check if you feel heat. If the door is cool then you can try the door knob. Stop! Before you do anything remember never touch a door knob with the palm of your hand. Always use the back of the hand. If you end up needing to use a window, opening it and climbing out may be next to impossible with a severely burned palm.
If it's cool to the touch then open the door and get out of the house anyway you can. Stay low and crawl.
If the door knob is hot whatever you do keep the door shut. It may not seem like that interior door is doing much, but with it shut the fire is sealed in the hall. Opening it could reduce the amount of breathable air you have. If possible wet some towels, shirts, or anything handy and stuff them in the bottom of the door. Even if getting them wet isn't an option stuff the door to keep out the smoke.
After this is done get out through a window. If the bedrooms at your home are high off the ground make sure every room has a fire escape ladder. They fold up and can be bought at most home improvement stores.
Once you are out of the house get to your predetermined meeting spot. Make sure that EVERYONE in the family knows where to meet. One of the leading causes of succumbing to a fire is going back into the house looking for family members who actually got out safely. Without a meeting point you always run the risk of this happening.
Another common mistake is for the meeting point to be across a road. Every year people are run over and killed crossing a street after getting away from a fire. You're rushing to find everyone and the guy driving down the road is looking at the fire instead of paying attention to the road.
Some planning and family discussion could be enough to get everyone out alive. Don't make the mistake of thinking it won't happen to you.
Source: Army Family 101, July 2010
HAVE 2 WAYS OUT
National Fire Prevention Week
October 7-13, 2012
The reality is that when fire strikes, your home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes.
It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That's why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan. This year’s theme,“Have 2 Ways Out!”, focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice. Website Link
FIRE INFORMATION LINKS
FIRE PREVENTION AWARENESS
THE U.S. FIRE PROBLEM
National Fire Protection Association (most recent data available)
- In 2010, there were 1,331,500 fires reported in the United States.
- These fires caused 3,120 civilian deaths, 17,720 civilian injuries, and $11.6 billion in property damage.
- 482,000 were structure fires, causing 2,755 civilian deaths, 15,420 civilian injuries, and $9.7 billion in property damage.
- 215,500 were vehicle fires, causing 310 civilian fire deaths, 1,590 civilian fire injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- 634,000 were outside and other fires, causing 55 civilian fire deaths, 710 civilian fire injuries, and $501 million in property damage.
- A fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds.
- One structure fire was reported every 65 seconds.
- One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds
- One civilian fire injury was reported every 30 minutes.
- One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 49 minutes.
- One outside fire was reported every 50 seconds.
- One vehicle fire was reported every 146 seconds
U.S. UNINTENTIONAL FIRE DEATH RATES BY STATE
NFPA's "U.S. Unintentional Fire Death Rates by State"
Author: John R. Hall, Jr.; Issued: October 2011
Using data from U.S. death certificates, this report provides an extensive review of fire death tolls and rates relative to population for all 50 states, with analyses of the role of socioeconomic and other characteristics.
Executive Summary The long-term trend in fire death rates per million population has been sloping substantially downward for nearly every state since 1980. In the five most recent years analyzed (2003-2007), Mississippi had the highest average fire death rate, and states of the southeast accounted for nine of the 13 highest rates, with Alaska, Rhode Island, and the states of Missouri and Oklahoma (which border the southeastern states) as the other four. Rhode Island’s fire death rate is unusually high because of the Station night club fire. When the five-year average rates are compared to state differences, several factors show notable correlations, including poverty (46% of statistical variation explained), smoking (41%), race (35%), and education (34%). All of these findings are consistent with findings in other studies of socioeconomic and behavioral factors related to measures of fire loss.
Tennessee Description: Tennessee’s 2003-2007 average fire death rate (23.7) was second highest in the U.S. Tennessee’s own analysis has shown that its fire death rate, based on victim’s place of death, is inflated by neighboring states using their excellent medical facilities. Analysis by victim’s state of residence would shown them as having the sixth highest fire death rate. Tennessee was one of the ten highest states on the education and smoker factors. The deadliest Tennessee fire since 1899 was a coal mine fire in May 1902, which killed 184 people.
- Fire Deaths per Million Population (2003-2007): 23.7
- Adults Without 12 Years of School (2005): 18.2%
- Population 12 or Over Who Used Cigarettes in Last Month (2004-2005): 29.6%
- Population Below Poverty Line (2005): 15.5%
- Population Living in Rural Communities (2000): 36.4%