You really can’t underestimate the damage fires do to communities all over America. U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) data show a jaw-dropping reality. In 2019 alone, over 1.2 million fires happened in the country, leaving 3,704 deaths and material losses of about $14.8 billion. Worse, every 24 hours, an area equivalent to Washington D.C. is getting burned in America. Certainly, these stats are nothing to give a blind eye to. Every community in America must ensure its safety against fire.
It’s paramount, therefore, that your community gets its act together to foil such destruction. Fire is not an isolated problem. The problem with a fire incidence is it spreads to just about anyone nearly. It doesn’t choose. It devours everything in its path. And that can definitely put everyone in the community in dire straits. A quick look at the campfire in California on November 8, 2018, where 19,000 homes were razed and 85 people died should be telling.
The good news is you can apply a method to fight such madness. Your concerted effort, along with proven and tested strategies, should protect you from the clutches of a raging inferno. Here are the essentials to get you started.
Tap Local Community Organizations
Local fire departments should be the last resort in keeping fire incidence away from the community. Indeed, prevention is better than cure. Community involvement is a must to keep fires at the barest minimum.
But nothing is farther from reality. From the onset, National Fire Protection Association research shows that most of the members of communities all over America are not well aware of the grave risks fire can bring. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, communities do not understand what must be done to prevent such fires.
And though 71% of households do have fire escape plans, only 47% of households have practised these plans. Many believe that they would still have 6 minutes before a home fire becomes life-threatening, even when it should only take less than two minutes to get out.
Concerning this, education is a key first step in fire prevention. Having the local fire department conduct a visit and do training is truly beneficial for the community.
Coordinating such an event should be paramount. Finding a good time when everyone is at home is crucial. A good time could be at night during a weekend.
Moreover, you can tap other community organizations to help disseminate the information. You can use social media or other ways to get the word out. Having people go door-to-door should also be helpful.
Alternatively, you and other leaders in your community can avail of online fire safety classes to educate yourselves. This way, you can get the critical skills needed to keep your community away from the dangers of fire, not to mention be accredited by a certified organization at a minimal fee.
Install Fire Safety Devices at No Cost
Everything that stands in the path of a raging fire gets destroyed. That’s why preventing it as much as possible is paramount. The protocol has even drastically changed to keep people away from harm. For instance, decades ago, the advisory was you have 17 minutes before you should evacuate the premises in cases when a fire breaks out. Today, you’re advised to take but 2 minutes or less.
With all the deaths surrounding fires, fire safety devices are a must. And having such devices available for homes all over America is a good reminder for everyone.
You can coordinate with your local fire department, so donations of home fire safety devices (e.g., fire alarms) should be in order. You can help find funding for these so poorer sectors in your community can avail of such measures free of charge. The giving out of these items can coincide with the time the fire marshals give the community a visit.
You can also help source new batteries that will be given for free (as much as possible) to replace dead ones in the fire alarm systems of community homes. It may look like an uphill climb. But this is a great way to keep the momentum and encourage people to pitch in.
Other items that can be promoted are carbon monoxide detectors and fire sprinklers.
Make Resources Available
You must reach out to possible resources available. That can really help your community a lot. Put in mind that you are not alone. There are resources available from the government, for instance, that you can make the most of. There are free handouts and informative materials that you can source from the U.S. Fire Administration for one.
When your community moves as one, preventing fire is definitely doable. Just keep fanning the fire, and you should reap the rewards for years to come.