Fire Prevention and Safety Resources
National Fire Prevention Week: October 4-10, 2020
"Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen"
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, and unattended cooking is the largest contributing factor. But together we can find a new recipe for fire safety in the kitchen. Practice these tips to “Serve Up Fire Safety in the KitchenTM:”
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in your home.
- Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
- Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
By following these tips hopefully, we can have our fall feasts and be safe while enjoying food with our families. Learn more from the NFPA here...
What is National Fire Prevention Week?
Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public health observance in the United States. First established in 1922 and made a national observance in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge, Fire Prevention Week was slated for October by the NFPA in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. If you’ve never heard the tale: legend has it that the Great Chicago Fire started on the evening of October 8 after Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern in the family barn. The fire raged on for two days, claiming over 250 lives and destroying more than 17,400 structures. Adding fuel to the fire, the damages were made worse by drought conditions, windy weather and a proliferation of wooden buildings and structures along the fire’s path which stretched over four miles long by a mile wide.
While Mrs. O’Leary and her cow were eventually exonerated by Chicago City Council over 125 years after the Great Chicago Fire, the lessons learned from the tall tale hold true today: a small, single act of carelessness when working with fire can have grim repercussions. This is why observances like Fire Prevention Week are necessary to remind us all of the importance of practicing fire safety, and this year our focus is promoting fire safety in our kitchens.
- Knox Boxes: Residential Knox Boxes are available for short-term use from the Fire Prevention Bureau on a first come first serve basis. Knox Boxes can be purchased through the Fire Division at a cost of approximately $200.
- File of Life: The File of Life program allows residents to keep vital information on hand for emergency responders. Forms can be picked up at the Fire Station at 390 S. Yearling Road
Whitehall, Ohio 43213
- Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors are available at the fire station on a limited availability basis.
- Whitehall Senior Safety Council (WSSC): The WSSC is a group of senior citizens who work with the Whitehall Police Crime Prevention Bureau and the Whitehall Fire Prevention Bureau to increase safety of our senior citizens. For more information, contact the Whitehall Senior Citizens, the Whitehall Police Division (WHPD), or the Whitehall Fire Division (WHFD).
- Juvenile Fire Setter Program: This program counsels children who are involved with non-criminal fire setting or a dangerous curiosity to fire. Please call 614-231-3627 for details.
- Home Safety Surveys: The Fire Prevention Bureau will conduct a home safety survey of any residence upon request.
- Business Safety Training: The Fire Prevention Bureau provides safety training to area businesses, including evacuation plans and fire extinguisher training.
- Safety Town: For almost 30 years, the Fire Division in conjunction with the Police Division and many other city services has conducted Safety Town with kindergartners from both Whitehall City Schools as well as the Holy Spirit School.
- Smoke Detectors: A smoke detector should be placed on each level of your home and outside each sleeping area. Smoke detectors should be placed at the highest ceiling level and at least 3 to 4 feet from any wall. Batteries should be changed every 6 months and detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
- Fire Extinguishers: Keep them in places that are most likely to have fires: kitchens, laundry rooms, mechanical rooms, etc. They may also be located near each exit. Remember that getting out of the house in the event of a fire is more important than extinguishing the fire alone.
- Exit Plans and Drills: All residents should plan and practice emergency escape drills. Always know two ways out.
- Closing Doors: Keeping doors closed can help prevent damage in the event of a fire. Sleeping with bedroom doors closed will give the occupants more time to escape should a fire occur.
- Combustible Storage: Never store combustibles within 3 feet of appliances such as furnaces, space heaters, and hot water heaters.
- Candle Safety: Use common sense with candles. Never leave burning candles unattended. Do not use candles near draperies or other combustibles.
- Tornado Safety: Plan and practice tornado safety drills. Seek shelter on the lowest level of your home in an interior room. Avoid windows and other types of glass that may get blown by the wind.
- Disaster Preparedness: Everyone who is able to care for themselves should be prepared to survive for 72 hours without assistance. Disaster planning and preparedness information can be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.