Don’t just talk about practice

Prepping for home fires saves lives

By Erik Harden,  BWC Public Information Officer

Fifteen years ago, Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson went on his now-famous “we’re talking ‘bout practice” rant. In a moment of frustration, he argued that whether he practiced or not was ultimately irrelevant to his performance during games.

Lately it seems many Americans feel the same about practicing ways to escape a housefire. In fact, a recent survey by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), reveals almost three-quarters of Americans have an escape plan; however, less than half ever practiced it.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8-14, focuses on helping us all to develop and practice a plan for escape in the event of a housefire.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.

The NFPA offers the tips and recommendations below for developing and practicing an escape plan.

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Clearly mark the number of your home so the fire department can easily find it.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

The NFPA has a mapping grid (in English or Spanish) you can use to create a home escape plan with all members of your household. You can even practice it on National Fire Drill Day, this Saturday, Oct. 14.

Iverson was an NBA star who was good enough to sometimes blow off practice and coast on his jaw-dropping talent during games, but in the end he was just playing a game. When it comes to surviving a home fire, practice could literally be the difference between life or death.


Don’t play with fire in your workplace

By Erik Harden, Public Information Officer, BWC Communications Department

nfpw-2016This week is National Fire Prevention Week, the annual awareness campaign promoted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The NFPA is focusing this year’s campaign on residential smoke alarm awareness with the theme: Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years. Practicing fire prevention is the smart thing to do at home, but it’s also critical in the workplace.

At BWC, we are doing our part to protect Ohio’s workers from the hazards of fire in the workplace through publications, classes and library resources focusing on this important topic.

For example, we have an educational guide on preventing flammable liquid fires and prepared safety talks about fire safety to help lead discussions with your workers.

Want to show your employees a video on fire prevention? Browse the extensive selection our library has to offer. Want more in-depth training? We also have educational courses targeted toward industries with high potential for fire hazards (e.g. welding and brazing).

state-fire-marshalFinally, don’t forget to visit the State Fire Marshal’s site for more information on fire prevention for your home and business. The site has several useful resources, including this Business Fire Safety Checklist.

With National Fire Prevention Week upon us, the State Fire Marshal’s office reminds us that about 115 Ohioans die each year in fires. Sadly, many of these deaths could have been prevented with a few quick and easy steps. This week they are promoting a social media campaign that asks “What can you do?” to help reduce this number. We also encourage you to take a moment to think about one thing you can do to prevent fires and fire deaths.