October is Fire Prevention Month

Oct 5, 2021

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans each year and injure approximately 20,000 more.  Fire departments in this country respond to nearly 2 million fires each year, with three-quarters of them occurring in residences.  In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. This month, make sure your home and workplace are protected from a fire.  Here are a few simple tips to help you avoid fires and reduce the risk of injury should one occur:


Smoke Alarms: Smoke alarms are a key part of a fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.  Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home or workplace and test it monthly. Smoke alarms should be connected so when one sounds, they all sound. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.


Prevent Electrical Fires:  Don’t overload circuits or extension cords.  Cords and wires should never be placed under rugs or in high traffic areas.  Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug in the wall outlet.  If the plug fits loosely, inspect the outlet right away.  A poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes. NEVER use frayed or broken cords or equipment with damaged cords.


Keep Plugs Safe: Unplug all appliances when not in use.  Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and use your senses to spot any potential disasters.  If a plug is overheating, smells strange, shorts out or sparks, the appliance should be shut off immediately, then repaired or replaced.


Portable Heaters: Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit.  Keep all flammables, like paper, clothing, bedding, drapes or rugs, at least three feet away.  Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended. Turn off heaters before leaving the room. If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, nonflammable surface, like ceramic tile, not on a rug or carpet. When buying a portable heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.


Appliances:  More than 15 million appliance units have been recalled in the past five years for defects that could cause a fire. It’s important for consumers to register appliances with manufacturers so that they receive notices if the product is recalled. Consumers can check for recalls directly by visiting www.recalls.gov or, before purchasing a new appliance, check the product safety reviews on www.safeproducts.gov.


Dryer Vents: According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 2,900 dryer vent fires occur annually. It’s important to clean the lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or after the drying cycle is complete.  Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil. Check the venting system behind the dryer to make sure that it is not damaged, crushed or restricted. Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is operating.


Fire Extinguisher:  Keep multiple portable fire extinguishers on hand for emergencies.  Position them around your home or workplace in areas where a fire could occur for a quick grab. Not all fire extinguishers will work on every fire. For home use, the National Fire Protection Association recommends a multi-purpose device large enough to put out a small fire but not so heavy that it will be difficult to handle. Use the PASS method:  Pull the pin – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire – Squeeze the lever slowly – Sweep from side to side.


How can Lofton Safety help?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you have questions regarding safety issues or training, contact Lofton Safety Services at 337-330-2642 or info@loftonsafety.com. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit www.osha.gov.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today


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