Fire Prevention Week focuses on safety during pandemic conditions

DLA Land and Maritime

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Fire Prevention Week is observed nationally during October 4-10. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!" works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

While more people have been staying home during this pandemic, the potential for fires has also increased. Understanding this potential is more important now than ever. The likelihood of walking away from a stove in operation increases when we become complacent in our daily routine at home.

Expanding on this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, other concerns need addressing during this pandemic. Not only has the likelihood of cooking dangers increased, but so has the danger associated with an increased use of electrical equipment around the house.

The recent heatwaves across the country have caused a rise in the use of AC units running. And when the fall and winter months arrive, these units will transfer into heating and if they are not appropriately maintained the potential for fires increase. Many HVAC companies recommend twice-a-year checkups of your air conditioning and heating units by early spring and early fall to get them ready for the changing seasons.

Households with a lot of kids or adults may see an increase in overloaded or overused electrical outlets. Spread the devices around the house to ensure outlets are not overloaded or overused. Check outlets and cords for loose connections that can develop from plugging and unplugging devices.

It wouldn't be fire prevention week if we don't mention checking home smoke alarms. Place smoke alarms on every home level, in each bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms monthly. The pandemic is forcing social distancing; rethink your meeting points if you must leave the house due to a fire.