Fire prevention: week can save your life

Even if you only think about them once a year, in October, they can, literally, keep you and your loved ones breathing.

This week could save your life.

It often seems that not a week or even a day goes by without it being declared the appointed time to think about or do something about a particular cause or concept. Cancer awareness, black history, LGBTQ rights, anti-bullying — all have been designated to a spot on the calendar.

While all of these things are important the overabundance tends to inure us to the messages being broadcast.

And then there are the truly frivolous ones like ballpoint pen day, talk like a pirate day, and world day of snowman.

But arguably, none of the above have the potential to have such an immediate impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing as Fire Prevention Week.

That’s as long as you pay attention and take some of the oft-heard, but also oft-ignored advice.

There are many simple things we are told every year we should do to help prevent fires in our homes.

They include basics such as getting or checking fire extinguishers, checking smoke alarms and replacing the batteries if necessary, or buying and installing these life-savers if you don’t yet have any.

Then there are things like having your chimney inspected and cleaned, and making sure your furnace is in proper working order before you tax it this winter in the cold weather.

Check your clothes dryer vents. If you light candles, make sure they are well away from flammable materials and don’t leave them burning when you’re not in the room. Give your stove a clean to prevent grease fires, now that the Thanksgiving turkey and fixings have been put away.

Check your appliances for damaged electrical cords — if they feel hot when you unplug them, that’s probably not a good sign.

Smokers should be very careful with cigarettes.

And one we often take for-granted — make an escape plan so if a fire does ignite, you know how you’re going to get out.

With the adrenaline rush and the possible impairment by smoke inhalation, you won’t have the time to think about it during the emergency.

Everyone in your house needs to know what to do.

These are just some of the tips you should take seriously. Even if you only think about them once a year, in October, they can, literally, keep you and your loved ones breathing.

Take a few minutes. Your life is worth it.