Archive February 2018
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Don't be a victim of fire
Did you know there are more than 1 million house fires in the U.S. each year and more than 3,000 people will die in 2018 as a result of fires. But the cause of death in a fire usually is not from being burned; more often than not, deaths in house fires are a result of smoke inhalation.
Often, the smoke in a house fires overcomes people so quickly that they can’t make it to an otherwise accessible exit, the National Fire Protection Organization (NFPA) says.
When people think of death by fire, they typically imagine fire breaking out in a place that is crowded with strangers, like a movie theater or restaurant. In reality, the people who die in fires typically die in ones and twos, in their own homes and vehicles, the NFPA says.
Although homes fires and deaths have been declining since 1977, four out of five fire-related deaths among non-firefighters occur in the home.
While the danger of being burned by a fire is evident, we learned from an emergency room physician that many people are unaware of the dangers of smoke inhalation.Smoke is mostly carbon monoxide, but also contains cyanide. Many homes have a lot of synthetic material such as rubber, plastic, or foam. When those materials burn, they can cause cyanide poisoning which prevents your body from absorbing and using oxygen.
Inhaling the toxic combustion of materials in the home also impairs respiration and can cause suffocation. Oxygen deprivation, even for short periods of time, can cause irreversible harm.
People who have sustained carbon monoxide poisoning have a risk for cognitive delays or other neurological issues.
A common cause
While many factors can be responsible for a house fire, one of the most common causes during cold weather months is a space heater.
If you must use a space heater, getting a new one that is equipped with safety features like a tip-over sensor that shuts the device off. Also always make sure it is operated in an area with ventilation.
It is never safe to enter a burning home, even if you think you are away from flames, as it only takes a short period of time to be overcome by smoke inhalation.
It’s also important to always having working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the home, and ensure that you test them at least twice per year. Having your detectors connected thru your alarm system ensures that Safe-T will dispatch the fire department, whether you are home, or away. If you don't currently have monitored smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, Safe-T can add these sensors to your existing system with a simple service call. If you have connected monitored detectors, but haven't tested them lately, call Safe-T today and we will walk you thru the testing process.