The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) encourages all Mississippians to take steps to protect loved ones and property against fire during National Fire Prevention Week – October 3 through 9. The theme of this week’s observance is Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With.
“As fall arrives and winter approaches, it’s the perfect time to take the necessary precautions that can save your life and the lives of those you love,” said Dr. Victor Sutton, director of the Office of Preventive Health at MSDH. “In 2009, 79 Mississippians lost their lives to fire: 22 of them were children younger than 15, and 17 were seniors aged 65 and older.”
Take these steps to prevent fire injuries and deaths:
- Purchase smoke alarms for your home.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
- Test smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
- If an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
- Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.
- Develop a fire escape plan for your home that includes two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place.
- Make sure windows and doorways open easily. Plan and practice a home fire drill.
- Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards.
- Never leave children unattended near hot stoves, or burning candles, even for a short time. Children should cook only under adult supervision. Teach children not to play with matches or lighters.
- Keep a safe distance from a fireplace, wood stove or other type of heater where clothes could easily catch fire. Use fireplace screens and inspect and clean fireplaces each year.
- Turn off room heaters, lights, stereos, TVs, and other electrical equipment when not in use.
For more information about fire safety, contact the MSDH Division of Injury/Violence Prevention at (601) 576-7781.