The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that October 9 through October 15 was National Fire Prevention Week, with the 2011 theme of "Protect your Family from Fire." The campaign was developed to keep individuals, their families, and their communities safe from fire.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and FEMA are providing fire prevention tips and resources going forward, including information materials and tips on the leading causes of fires.
"Annual observances like National Fire Prevention Week are excellent opportunities to focus on fire hazards - but we should all practice fire safety every day - at work, at play, and particularly at home,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy. "The most common causes of home fires include cooking, heating, electrical malfunction, smoking materials, and candles."
FEMA states that several small steps can be taken to prevent damaging fires, including staying in the kitchen while cooking, having chimneys inspected regularly, and keeping flammable materials away from light bulbs and lamps.
Also, using flashlights in the event of a power outage, rather than candles, significantly lowers the chance of fire. If a candle is used indoors, keep them away from anything that can easily burn, and make sure to blow them out before going into another room.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it is important for homes and businesses to have fire safety equipment, which includes large and portable fire extinguishers, readily available.