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The Number One Place That Fires Start Is Where You Sleep

Feb 13, 2008
One of the most common rooms in the house where fires begin (besides the kitchen) is in the bedroom. Nearly 4,000 lives are lost each year in the United States due to fires in the home, and approximately 600 of those lives are lost when a fire starts in the bedroom. When this occurs, most often the cause is overloaded electrical circuits, space heaters that are placed too close to flammable items, the poor smoking habits of adults, arson, and children playing with matches, lighters, or candles. So, how can these fires be prevented so that hundreds of lives can be spared each and every year?

It begins with you. Practicing fire prevention in all aspects of your life could save the lives of your family members and those dearest to you. How do you begin practicing fire prevention in your home? The bedroom is always a good place to start. Most deaths in home fires occur between the hours of 12:00am and 4:00am during the night...when people are fast asleep and unaware of their surroundings.

To begin, first take a simple look around your bedroom. Do you light candles often? If so, where are they? Are they placed in protective holders, such as votives, or bowls? Next, are the candles placed near fabric (such as curtains, bedding or clothing), where it could easily catch aflame? Are the candles placed where children can easily play with them or accidentally knock them over? These are questions to begin asking yourself.

Next, examine the wires and electrical circuits in your bedroom. If you have multiple alarm clocks, multiple lamps, and a computer and printer and space heater, it could easily be said that the circuits are all full. It is important to turn off electrical devices when they are not in use; turn off the lights when you leave the room, turn off the computer and printer when you go to bed at night, and turn off the space heater when you are not present. Also, be sure to examine the cords and make certain they are not frayed or compromised in any way.

If you have children, keep an eye on them. Also remember to keep any matches or lighters you have tucked safely away or locked in a cabinet or drawer, if possible. Be aware of "special" hiding places for children: under the bed, in a closet, or under a desk are all popular spaces, not to mention extremely unsafe when playing with fire. Unfortunately, children ignite approximately 35,000 fires in the home annually. Roughly 400 of those children lose their lives each year due to playing with fire. Keep your matches safe, and keep your children safe.

It truly is tragic how many lives are lost each year due to fires in the home. When people practice fire safety, and are aware of the hazards in their home, the risk of fire lowers. It is important to be aware and pay attention to what is going on in your home at all times. Though things can get hectic, make conscious efforts to practice fire safety. It could make the difference between saving lives or losing them.
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