LFD gives fire prevention tips

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This week is Fire Prevention Week across the United States, and the LaGrange Fire Department is reminding citizens about ways to prevent fires in their homes. According to LFD Lt. Rob Vael, the LFD has responded to 22 structure fires this year.

Vael said Fire Prevention Week is in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire which started on Oct. 8, 1871, and lasted three days.

“It is the longest running public health observance in our country,” Vael said.

The National Fire Protection Association’s theme for the week is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”

“The ‘look’ is look for places where fire could start, so we’re encouraging people to look around their home, identify potential hot fire hazards and take care of them,” Vael said.

Listen is to listen to the sound of the smoke alarms. According to a press release from the American Red Cross, smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a house and outside each sleeping area. Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced every year.

Vael said residents should establish a meeting place for when the smoke alarm goes off.

“Learn two ways out of every room, so making sure that all doors and windows leading outside can open easily and are free of clutter,” Vael said.

According to the American Red Cross, children should be taught what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.

Other home prevention tips include checking the dryer lint screen often, according to Vael.

“If you don’t clean that out, I encourage people to check it out after every load you dry,” Vael said.

Vael said when cooking and using the oven and stove, always stay in the kitchen and pay attention to what you’re cooking. Also make sure to turn off the stove and oven once cooking is complete.

Space heaters can also become fire hazards, Vael said.

“Don’t be using your space heaters to hang clothes on,” Vael said. “There’s the 36-inch rule. Keep 36 inches between any surface from the front back and sides of the space heater.”

For more information on fire prevention week, visit Nfpa.org.