In observance of National Fire Prevention week, Riverside County and Murrieta fire departments are asking residents to focus on fire hazards and help keep families, neighbors and their communities flame free.
The local fire agencies are modeling after the National Fire Protection Association’s program theme, ‘Protect Your Family from Fire.’
Fire prevention week was created in 1922 to commemorate the October 8, 1871 Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo forest fire, Murrieta Fire Department Firefighter-Paramedic Dean Hale said.
The Chicago Fire burned multiple large buildings in the city’s center and killed more than 250 people. The Peshtigo Fire destroyed 16 towns and killed 1,152 people and burned over 1.2 million acres, according to a news release.
While the week of Oct. 9-15 serves as a time to focus on fire hazards, county fire officials said residents should practice fire safety every day.
Fire prevention tips:
Test smoke alarms once a month
Replace batteries in all smoke alarms twice a year
Replace smoke alarms every 10 years
Develop a fire escape plan
Practice family fire drills at least twice a year
HOME FIRE SPRINKLERS:
Provides your family extra time to safely escape
Helps to contain a fire to the room it started in
Will often extinguish the fire before the fire department arrives
For more fire safety tips, visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov.
“Each of us has a responsibility to keep our families and home safe from fire,” Riverside County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins said. “These tips are safeguards that are easy to remember and could save your life.”
Replacing batteries in smoke detectors, checking outlets and extension cords especially with the home decorations for the holidays, and practicing the Stop, Drop and Roll technique along with exit drills in the home are among some of the quick tips Hale offers residents.
Hale said the fire department receives at least two-to-three small house-fire related calls a week, which mainly consist of garage fires, candles in the home that have been left unattended, microwave and dryer fires.
“The amount of large house fires that we go on are a lot less now,” said Hale, who has been in the fire service for 22 years. “That’s because we get there quickly and are able to control the fires to small areas of the home. Again, it’s all about fire prevention and how far we’ve come in the outreach.”
On Saturday, Hale and other Murrieta firefighters will be on hand to offer more safety tips and outreach programs to families during the department’s annual Open House. The event, planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Station #2, 40060 California Oaks Road in Murrieta, will include practice drills for adults including fire extinguisher demos and an exit drill in the home obstacle course for children. Fire station tours and static displays will also be available.