According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to approximately 5,690 fires at education buildings each year. These fires caused an annual 85 civilian injuries and $92 million in direct property damage. Almost a quarter of all school fires are started intentionally. Safety education and preparation should be a priority for every family and school official.
E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety offers these tips to play it safe as children and adolescents return to school:
If a student engages in firesetting or other negative high risk taking behavior, contact your local fire department or visit www.kidsandfire.org for a list of West Michigan Fire Department based Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention programs.
While the above tips focus mostly on elementary, middle and high schools, they can also apply to college buildings, where firefighters respond to about 3,810 fires each year – 88% of which are due to cooking mishaps. Here’s a college-level course in fire prevention:
Campus lab precautions
Fire Prevention Week is recognized each October. However, fire safety should be practiced 365 days a year. Whether you’re at home, in the office or at school, safety should come first. Do your part to protect yourself and those around you Where You Live!
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – The City of Grand Rapids Fire Department wants to make sure you’re safe in your home! Carly Munoz, WOTV 4 Women crew member, recently took the time to schedule an appointment to have them come and install free smoke detectors in her Grand Rapids home. It was such an awesome experience for her and her kids! Her kids were delighted to see a big red fire engine pull up next to their driveway and to have several firefighters come inside their home.
The firefighters were professional, fun and great with the kids. Munoz said, “I know what you’re thinking. Firefighters are coming inside my home? EEK! I’d have to clean up and what if they see something that maybe we’re doing wrong or is installed wrong… then what?” It wasn’t like that at all. They were coming in with the sole intent to keep her family safe. They talked with the kids, they determined where they alarms needed to be placed and asked for the family’s input on installation locations and options.
They didn’t care about stepping over the kids toys, or the major pileup of clutter in my furnace room. They did run through some tips and safety pointers with Carly at the end, which she appreciated. Quick little bits of information that are good for homeowners to know to prevent a fire. They told her to make sure to consistently clean her lint trap on her dryer, to maybe push that “clutter pile” back away from the furnace so nothing catches fire, and to make sure the grill is away from the garage when her family barbecues so nothing goes up in flames other than the steaks. She actually found it really helpful!
They didn’t charge her or expect anything in return. They even let the kids come out to the fire truck for a tour and pics when they were done! Bonus!
Reside within the City of Grand Rapids
Be a home owner, residing within the dwelling.
Rentals do not qualify at this time.
Homeowners can ensure their safety by scheduling an appointment. Contact us at 311
Not a GR resident? Call to set up an appointment within your area through Operation Save A Life: 1.844.978.4400
An Ottawa County fire chief has a warning for all West Michigan residents, after responding to multiple fires sparked by the same mistake.
“What we’ve been starting to see out here is the discarding of fire pit ashes into trash cans,” said Georgetown Township Fire Chief Dan Hamming.
Hamming said a July 23 fire that gutted a home on Briar Lane was one of eight blazes his department handled this year that was caused by ashes that were improperly disposed of.
“We had one resident say that I put my hand on it and it was cool,” Hamming recollected.
Ashes that appear cool on the surface can remain hot at their center.
“Those type of ashes can lay there dormant for 24, 36, to 48 hours,” explained Hamming.
Dumping those ashes into a garbage can made of a petroleum-based plastic and filled with other plastic and paper products is a recipe for fire. Since many homeowners keep their garbage cans in the garage or alongside their house, the fire has time to grow before a homeowner notices it.
Hot grills positioned close to a home also pose a risk; the radiant heat can ignite vinyl siding.
“What we want to do is get the word out to not only Georgetown Township residents, but to West Michigan: be careful with your fire pit, fireplace ashes,” advised Hamming.
The fire chief says the safest way to dispose of ashes is to dump them in a bucket filled with water and let the mix sit outside for a couple of days. Another method is to dig a hole and bury the ashes, Hamming said.
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