Monday, October 06, 2008
sponsored by Jake's Furnishings

Oct. 5-11: Fire Prevention Week

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[October 06, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Office of the State Fire Marshal is joining with fire service organizations across the state to encourage everyone to "Prevent Home Fires!" during Fire Prevention Week 2008, Oct. 5-11. Last year in Illinois, there were 10,669 residential fires, resulting in 175 deaths, 784 injuries and more than $193 million in property damage.

"It's important to inspect your home for fire hazards on a regular basis. If you find something, fix it right away; don't put it off and say I'll do it tomorrow,'" said State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman. "In addition, families should develop and practice an escape plan."

This year's theme focuses on preventing fires in the home -- where we spend most of our time and where 80 percent of fire deaths occur. The leading causes of home fires in Illinois are cooking and heating equipment.

According to the most recent statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, more than 2,500 people died in home fires across the United States in 2006, and 12,500 were injured.

Foreman offers the following tips to protect your family and loved ones from fire:

  • Cooking: Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period time, turn off the stove.

  • Heating: Keep all things that can burn -- such as paper, bedding or furniture -- at least three feet away from heating equipment.

  • Electrical: Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords; use extension cords for temporary wiring only. Consider having additional circuits or receptacles added by a qualified electrician.

  • Smoking: If you smoke, smoke outside; wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays.

For more information about fire safety, visit www.state.il.us/osfm.

[Text from Office of the State Fire Marshal file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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