CELEBRATE AND PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION WEEK (OCTOBER 4-10, 2015)

A National Fire Protection Group will be spearheading and participating, along with many other organizations and fire departments, in National Fire Prevention Week.  http://www.nfpa.org/press-room/news-releases/2015/nfpa-announces-the-theme-for-fire-prevention-week

 Each year, there are too many injuries and deaths from fire. Many of these fires and injuries are preventable. There can be many sources of these fires, including mechanical or structural issues, to electrical wiring defects, to the improper use and storage of flammable liquids, to human carelessness (with matches, cigarettes,  fuel sources, heaters, fireplaces, and so on).  There are many excellent resources available from your local fire department to on-line fire prevention checklists that will guide you through the safety assessments you should make each year to make sure you and your family and friends are safe from fire. The fall is an excellent time to not just turn your clocks back to daylight savings but to install and check your batteries in your smoke detectors and other detectors.  There are many new and inexpensive products that detect (with much longer life) not only smoke but also leaking gas and also carbon monoxide dangers.  Work to educate the entire family, including children, about the many dangers that can be created with the careless use and storage of flammables, with fireplaces, and not following safety instructions and not performing needed home maintenance.   

 Many of the matters RingsmuthWuori have handled over the years involve significant burn injuries and deaths—all of which were preventable. Safety rules exist to protect us all—if they are violated, the consequences for all are significant.  Below are just a few of the areas in which fires have caused major injuries and the preventable cause of those fires: 

 

Result of propane leak and explosion.  Result of propane leak and explosion. 

     

      Close-up view of house explosion and fire depicted in the photograph to the left.

Close-up view of house explosion and fire depicted in the

photograph to left.

  The above photographs show a massive propane explosion because of an unsafe propane system, causing deaths. Company managers violated safety rules regarding maintenance, inspection, and how to turn on and off the propane system. Consequently, there was a propane leak and soon thereafter, unbeknownst to the family, the leaking propane in the basement became ignited most likely by the furnace flame and erupted. Propane, like regularly gasoline, is heavier than air and will stay low to the ground and its vapors will migrate and ignite from many types of ignition sources in a home. Moreover, most people do not know that you can have a gas leak outside your home and the ground/gravel can leach out the added odorant (the rotten egg smell) and the odorless gas still be drawn into a house through piping/crash and become ignited.  Hence, the need for reliable gas detectors as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  

Below are some photographs of an explosion in a different state, in which there were multiple violations by a gas company and a landlord with respect to an entire propane system.  The tenant was just moving in and the entire house blew up—again because critical but known safety rules were violated.  Propane should never have been introduced into the system. There was an uncapped gas line in the house unbeknownst to the tenant and gas escaped through this gas line, causing a significant explosion. Based upon our experience, it was clear just looking at the propane tank and connection that it was an unsafe system. Further inspection into the debris field showed multiple more violations.

 FireA F4 

Unsupported gas lines, gas lines without shut-off valves and uncapped gas lines were the cause of the explosion and fire depicted in these photographs. The occupant of the home was blown out through the front window and landed in the yard. She received third-degree burns on much of her body.

 

The majority of fires are caused by safety rule violations and are preventable. The elderly are at significant risk for fire and the National Fire Protection Association has many helpful tips:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBkA6vN9yTo&feature=youtu.be

There are many resources to use and review with everyone in the family, young to old, to protect everyone from preventable fires. 

 

 

 


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