In Case of Emergency

In case of emergency dial 911.

Fire

Fires are the third leading cause of accidental injury in the home.

According to FEMA, an estimated 236,200 fires in one- and two-family homes were reported in the United States each year (2009-2011). Those fires caused an estimated 1,980 deaths, 8,525 injuries, 5.5 billion dollars in property loss, and accounted for 65 percent of all residential building fires annually.

Cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home. House fires are more frequent in the cooler months.

 

The Source

The five biggest threats for fire in the home are:

  1. Cooking – especially on the stovetop. Do not leave the stovetop unattended while cooking.
  2. Heating – give portable space heaters 3 feet of space all the way around. If using logs in the fireplace, inspect and clean the chimney annually.
  3. Smoking – smoke outside and away from furniture.
  4. Electrical – deteriorating electrical cords can fray and spark. Check cords to make sure they are in good shape and replace them as needed. Old wiring shoud be updated. Do not overload circuits.
  5. Candles – Consider using battery-operated candles. If not, monitor and remain in the room while candles are burning.

 

Who is at Risk?

Fires put all household occupants at risk. Small children, the elderly and the diabled are at increased risk due to limitations on their ability to escape a house fire.
 

Health Impacts

Structure fires kill. Those that are lucky to survive my be harmed by burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, exposure to other toxic fumes, trips, and falls.

 

Solutions

Exit Drills In The Home (EDITH) can help prepare for emergency. When there is a fire in the home, the family that has practiced and is prepared is more likely to survive unharmed. There are four simple steps to preparation.

  1. Prepare a fire escape plan.
  2. Install and maintain smoke detectors.
  3. Practice exit drills in the home regularly. Children should practice too!
  4. Examine your home for fire hazards and take steps to prevent a fire before it occurs.

The Healthy Homes Coalition recommends one hard-wired or 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm inside and outside of each sleeping room, and one alarm on each floor of the home, including the basement. Test the alarms once a month and install new ones at least every ten years.

 

Did You Know...

Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2005-2009 resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.

Resources

Fire Safety Tips(684 KB)

From Safe Kids Worldwide

Job Opening - FEMA Worker

The Healthy Homes Coalition has an opening for a FEMA Field Worker.  We are seeking a Spanish-speaking (conversational) candidate to work 24 hours/week.


FEMA Awards Healthy Homes Coalition $51,451 for Fire Safety Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced an award of $51,451 on September 9, 2016 to the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan to make 400 homes safer for children. The award will allow the Healthy Homes Coalition to teach fire safety and install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in 400 homes.


Matthew Breathes Easier!

This spring, our Healthy Housing Specialist Jennifer Spiller began working with Luom and her 5-year-old son, Matthew. Matthew’s asthma was causing him to have a lot of sleepless nights from waking up coughing. Luom was already working with Matthew’s doctor and the Asthma Network of West Michigan to control his asthma, and Healthy Homes was invited to assess their home to see if his environment might be worsening his symptoms.