Local Officials Recommend Reviewing Fire Safety as Fall Approaches

| August 16, 2019

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – As summer is drawing to an end and fall approaching, it will soon be time to kick on your heat, which makes now a good time to think about fire safety.

U.S. Fire Administration statistics show that heating is the second leading cause of home fires after cooking. From 2013-2015, an average of 45,900 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year. These fires caused an annual average of approximately 205 deaths, 725 injuries and $506 million in property loss.

According to Chief Mark Hicks, of the Oil City Fire Department, while it is recommended that people change the batteries in their smoke detectors twice each year, at the same time as they change their clocks in the spring and fall, people should also be checking their smoke detectors to make sure they’re functioning properly once each month.

Although many newer models of smoke alarms have long-lasting batteries that do not need to be replaced often, thousands of people still use models that depend on standard batteries that need to be replaced on a regular basis.

According to Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego, worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction. If they are functioning properly, smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Changing the batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent tragic deaths and injuries.

Chief Hicks noted that the fall is also a good time to review other fire safety issues in the home.

“Make sure you have an escape plan and that everyone knows it,” Hicks told exploreVenango.com.

“Also, have a family meeting spot that everyone knows.”

Assistant Chief Justin Miller of the Sigel Volunteer Fire Department noted it is also recommended that people have their heating systems checked regularly.

“We highly recommend getting all of your heating methods serviced prior to use,” Miller said. “Servicing prior to use before colder weather ensures that it will be ready when you need it, and could also prevent a fire.”

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Category: Local News, News