Health & Safety

November 16, 2012

Holiday safety message from the Air Force Fire Chief

by Donald Warner
U.S. Air Force fire chief

We like to think of the upcoming holiday season as a joyous time with family and friends. Sadly, that is not always the case.

Each year hundreds of families are devastated by fire. The purpose of this message is to provide pointers so it doesn’t happen to you.

Two scenarios are our primary concern during the holiday season — cooking and Christmas tree fires.

COOKING

Cooking occurs more during this season than normal, increasing the potential for a fire on the stovetop. Know this: A cooking fire can cause major damage to your home. The smoke from the fire can cause serious damage to your cabinets and other articles throughout the house. If they are not extinguished quickly, the entire house may be destroyed. So do not take these fires lightly.

Here are some tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
  • Keep a metal lid handy when cooking anything in oil or grease and avoid cooking on the high setting. If the pan catches fire, slide the lid from the side over the burning pan. Once the fire is out, remove it from the heat. This is the best way to extinguish these fires. An alternative is to use an ABC or BC dry chemical extinguisher, which signifies the extinguisher is capable of handling Class A, Class B, or Class C fires. A good dousing with baking soda also works, but you’ll be exposed to the fire because you’ll have to get close.
  • NEVER USE WATER on a grease/oil fire!
  • Do not try to move a burning pan. Put the fire out in the pan where it sits.
  • If you fry a turkey, make sure you follow instructions and keep the fryer at least 25 feet from your house. Vinyl siding, if on fire, will easily melt and run up the side of a building, resulting in major damage.

CHRISTMAS TREES

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates 240 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 150 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting, occur each year. Together, these fires result in 21 deaths and $25.2 million in direct property damage.

Here are some tips:

  • Natural trees should be avoided. If you insist on having one, make sure it is freshly cut and kept wet (standing in water). If a dry tree catches fire, the possibility of successfully extinguishing it is very low, which may result in the loss of your home. The short video at http://vimeo.com/7896142 (or Google “Christmas tree fires”) illustrates this point. However, property damage isn’t the only concern; the lives of your family is at stake.
  • If you use a natural tree, make sure it’s not in the exit pathway.
  • Never use open flames such as candles near the tree, whether natural or artificial.
  • Use only Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) listed artificial trees. If you do not know whether your old tree is safe, cut a small sample and hold it over a flame. It may catch fire but it should self-extinguish when the flame is removed. If it does not, get a new tree.
  • Make sure all electric decorations are UL or FM listed and are in good repair.
  • De-energize all decorations before retiring for the evening or leaving the tree unattended.
  • Remind your family of the fire escape plan. Remember, if smoke is present, stay low or crawl to safety.
  • Routinely check smoke detectors (at least once per month and more often if in severe environments).
  • If you are a renter, maintain renter’s insurance, just in case.
  • Finally, if you have a fire, do not spend too much time trying to put it out! Getting the family out of the house is top priority! Call 9-1-1 and someone will come to put the fire out for you.

Stay Safe. Happy Holidays!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Noelle Reyes

Massage therapy relaxes members during UTA

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Noelle Reyes Massage therapy students from The American College of Healthcare (ACH), Riverside, give complimentary massages to Team March members during a June 2015 Unit Training Assembly. As ...
 
 
Kids-Toddler-Pool-Safety-Clipart

Summer swimming safety tips

With summer in full swing it is good to review swimming safety tips. Knowing water safety rules, current water conditions and your swimming abilities could be the difference between life and death. Swim with a buddy in designat...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

Mental health resources available for those in need

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay Considering the demands facing the remotely piloted aircraft enterprise, Creech Air Force Base, Nev., has formed their own Human Performance Team to meet the needs of those supp...
 

 
Don't-get-hooked-by-phishers

Don’t get hooked by cyber phishing scams

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Fast cash promises on popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are causing major problems for service members. Phishing scams have continued to evolve in an attempt to keep up wi...
 
 
HEALTHY-BASE-INITIATIVE

Let’s Move! supports Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) challenge

Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination with healthy eating, it can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are the three leading c...
 
 
HBI---USE-GRAPHIC-ONLY-1

Beware: tainted dietary supplements are harmful

Some products marketed as dietary supplements are tainted with the same active ingredients as FDA-approved drugs, analogs of the active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs, or other compounds, such as novel synthetic steroids, th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>