Opinion

Knowledge is power when it comes to fire safety

A Chico Way family had their world turned upside down Monday after their house caught fire in the early morn

ing hours.

Fortunately for the four occupants and their pets, no one was injured and everyone safely evacuated the home. But all it takes is one minor mistake for something to go terribly wrong. In this case, the fire was started by a pile of rags used for staining which weren’t disposed of properly. The pile of rags spontaneously combusted, sparking the blaze in the family’s garage. But how many people know of this danger? Many people probably wouldn’t think twice about throwing some oily rags in the corner of their garage or on an empty shelf.

Many residents are aware of the basics of fire safety such as maintaining working smoke alarms, but do most know there should be at least one smoke alarm on every story of the home, outside sleeping areas and inside each bedroom? Probably not as many as there should be. Many of the hazards which lead to disastrous home fires can easily be corrected. But that’s nearly impossible unless someone knows what to look for in spotting potential hazards.

Luckily for residents of Central Kitsap, there is somewhere to turn for fire safety knowledge. Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR) offers free home safety surveys to help local residents identify and correct potential fire and injury hazards. During the visit, fire officials also will test the smoke alarms and work with the family on a fire escape plan specific to the home, according to CKFR.

As an alternative to a home visit, CKFR has a checklist on their Web site, www.ckfr.org, which families can use to determine for themselves the hazards in their homes. Click on “Home Hazards Safety Checklist” on the site and take a look around your home.

For more information or to set up a free safety visit, call CKFR at (360) 447-3603. It could very well be the safest thing you do for your family.

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