Tragic Philadelphia Fire Reminds All of the Need to Focus on Fire Safety at Home
 
January 5, 2022
 

The stunning and tragic loss of 13 people, including seven children, in nearby Philadelphia ( https://6abc.com/philadelphia-fire-fairmount-row-home-ogden-street-23rd/11428039/ ) is a reminder of the risks of fire in the home. At West Grove Fire Company, we share in the collective shock of the losses of so many people -- especially children -- and are hoping today's sad news is a wake up call for people to focus on fire safety and being prepared in their own homes.

While the cause of the tragic Philadelphia fire is not yet officially known, early reports suggest that the fire may have started in or around the Christmas tree, and smoke detectors in the home may not have been working. According to experts, most fire injuries and fatalities are preventable which is why WGFC prioritizes fire safety education, especially for children.

At the heart of any home fire safety plan are working smoke detectors -- one on each living level of a home, and, where possible, in each bedroom. Teach all home occupants -- adults and children -- what to do when a smoke detector goes off, including how to call 911 to get help, and how to exit in case of smoke and fire, and to have a family meeting place outside.

Other key points include:

-Plan and practice fire drills in your home.
-Establish a home meeting place, teach children about it, and practice using it.
-Keep bedroom doors closed at night -- a closed door stops the spread of fire and smoke and saves lives.
-Keep chimneys cleaned and well maintained.
-We live in a rural area --get help started by dialing 911 before doing anything else.
-Keep your address and township/municipality and nearby cross streets posted by the phone so that visiting family members or babysitters can report an emergency.
-Have your home well marked for emergency responders -- so it can be seen from all directions at night and in poor weather.
-Keep Christmas trees well watered, and remove them from the home when they become dry and no longer hold needles.
-Don't overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting/decorations.
-Keep space heaters 3' away from everything.

Proactive planning and practicing emergency procedures can save precious time and save lives. For more information, see information from the National Fire Protection Association at: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education

WGFC has an active fire prevention education program in area schools. See our website for more information. Community groups can request tailored programs at https://www.wgfc.org/apps/public/database/formAdd.cfm?Form_ID=6 .