October is National Fire Prevention Month

Published 4:35 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

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An Editorial Opinion of The Demopolis Times

While October is best known as Breast Cancer Awareness month, it is also National Fire Prevention Month. October was designated as National Fire Prevention Month in 1922, and is a time to reflect on and raise awareness of fire safety. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are 45,000 electrical fires a year and over half of them occur between December and February. Electrical fires can be caused by a variety of things such as faulty wiring, space heaters, dryer fans, and even holiday decorations. 

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While any kind of fire is dangerous, electrical fires are especially hazardous because they spread quickly and are difficult to extinguish. Electrical fires can spread within 30 seconds and can cause irreparable damage to a home. These types of fires can spread through the walls and insulation and cause structural damage to a home.

Electrical fires are difficult to put out as homeowners cannot extinguish them with water like an ordinary fire. Putting water on an electrical fire will likely only cause the fire to worsen and risks a person being electrocuted. 

The best way to put out an electrical fire is to use an up-to-code fire extinguisher. However, if an extinguisher is not available, baking soda or a heavy blanket can put out an electrical fire.

Some helpful tips to prevent house fires from electrical mishaps is being mindful of supplemental electrical needs such as outside generators and extension cords. Generators should be kept outside and as far away from the home as possible. Extension cords should be checked regularly for damage like fraying.

Use electric appliances properly. Follow the instructions on how to use appliances, where to store them, and unplug them when not in use. Circuits should be monitored and never overloaded as it can spark when unattended. Finally, keep electrical systems in the home up to date. Homes should be up to the standards of the National Electrical Code.

Protecting homes from fires and practicing fire safety should be a priority in any home. It is better to prevent a fire from happening than to deal with the consequences.