October Welcomes Fire Prevention Week

October Welcomes Fire Prevention Week

Electrical Safety & Fire Prevention for Your NJ Home

This autumn month is home to Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13), sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association to commemorate the devastating Chicago Fire of 1871. Though the official cause of the Great Chicago Fire has never been confirmed, the most popular story blames the O’Leary family cow—said to have knocked over a barn lantern. More than 17,000 structures were destroyed in the Chicago blaze, leaving 300 people dead and another 100,000 homeless.

Today, U.S. fire departments respond to a house fire every 86 seconds, and cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire-related injuries. Whether you’re planning to host a festive meal or you’re preparing your signature side dish for a potluck, keep these tips in mind. From having an escape plan to using candles wisely, fire and cooking safety help ensure a happy holiday and winter season.

Tips for Fire Safety and Prevention

  1. Escape plan. Draw a map of your home and note at least two exits out of each room. Designate an outdoor meeting area that’s a safe distance from the home. Discuss the plan with your family members and use it to practice fire drills. Remember: The time available to escape your home in the event of a fire is often less than six minutes.
  2. Heating safety. While most homes are equipped with central heating, home additions and rooms prone to drafts can be warmed with space heaters or fireplaces. Never use your stove to heat your home, and don’t use gas generators indoors. Turn off portable heaters when leaving a room and equip fireplaces with screens to keep sparks from flying.
  3. Cooking safety. Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking—and most fires come from the stove. Water and grease don’t mix, so it’s best to cut off oxygen to stovetop fires by smothering flames with a lid or cookie sheet. Manage oven fires by turning the oven off and keeping the door closed.
  4. Holiday safety. Do not use electric lights on a metallic tree, and check old light sets for broken sockets. Cracked and frayed lights are a fire hazard. Holiday trees can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, causing shock or electrocution. For your reference, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has a helpful list of holiday safety and lighting tips.
  5. Smoke alarms & home fire sprinklers. Statistics show that smoke alarms decrease the risk of dying in a fire by 50 percent. Test smoke alarms regularly and change batteries twice a year when you turn the clocks for daylight savings. Batteries that are dead, disconnected or missing are usually the cause of non-working smoke alarms. Consider installing interconnected smoke alarms that sound all household alarms when one unit detects smoke. For the safety of our community, Maglio Electric offers smoke and carbon monoxide detector services that include replacement, upgrades and installation of leading alarm systems.

Trust Maglio Electric for Holiday Light Installation

Exterior decorative lighting is a festive way to share holiday cheer, but it can also pose a fire hazard when it’s not installed correctly. Maglio Electric’s licensed electricians specialize in interior and exterior lighting safety and offer electrical inspections that safeguard your home and family. And, since autumn and winter weather are unpredictable, call our team for whole-house generator installation. With reliable backup power, the festivities can go on—even when inclement weather threatens the party.

To learn more, call 908.735.6218 or contact us online for electrical upgrades, code corrections, smoke alarm services and more.

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