Barrow County firefighters are joining fire departments nationwide in designating October 4 - 10 as Fire Prevention Week.
This year’s theme is “Stay fire smart: don’t get burned.” The theme is focused on keeping homes safe and preventing burns.
“Barrow County citizens should practice fire safety all year,” said Public Information Officer Lieutenant Scott Dakin. “However during this week we want them to focus on keeping their homes fire safe and preventing themselves or their family members and friends from being burned.”
The two major causes of home fires are cooking accidents and electrical malfunctions. Cooking accidents are also a major cause of burn injuries.
To prevent cooking related burns, firefighters recommend never leaving food unattended while cooking, never holding a child in your arms while cooking or drinking a hot drink and keeping children at least three feet away from ovens.
Another common cause of burn injuries is scalding. Always test the temperature of the water before placing a child in the bath. Children and older adults are more susceptible to burns. To avoid scalds, water heater thermostats should be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the 1871 Chicago Fire that killed more than 250 people and left 100,000 homeless. The fire began on October 8 and burned through October 9. Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Saturday through Sunday period in which October 9 falls. For more safety tips citizens can log onto the National Fire Prevention Association website at www.nfpa.org.
“One of the responsibilities of every firefighter is to help prevent fires,” Dakin said. “However, in order to not only reduce the number of fires but also reduce the number of burn injuries, we need every citizens help.”