MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Oct. 3 through 9 marks the National Fire Protection Association’s national ‘Fire Prevention Week.’ This year’s theme is ‘Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.’
There are two different kinds of detectors that are commonly found in households: smoke and carbon monoxide.
If there is a fire in the home, the smoke detector will beep three times. If there is a gas leak, then the carbon monoxide detector will sound four times.
McAllen Fire Department’s Public Education Officer, Dr. Lucas Garcia said the most common household fires his department has encountered are “unmanned kitchen fiascos.” He suggests adult supervision when cooking and not have small children running around the oven.
If there happens to be a fire in the house, the McAllen Fire Department is pushing for the community to have an alternate escape plan, especially if your home is more than one story or you live on a higher level of your apartment complex. Dr. Garcia calls it a “two-way out” system. A “rope ladder” is also suggested as a safe way of getting from a higher level to the ground.
The McAllen Fire Department is pushing the concept of ‘get out and stay out’ too. Once you have safely exited the building, Dr. Garcia asks that you and your family remain outside at a meeting point and wait on the professionals to arrive.
Carbon monoxide leaks will also occur from time to time in those houses that are run on natural gas and water heaters. Dr. Garcia said if your carbon monoxide alarm does sound, contact a licensed plumber or technician who can identify the leak.
It is encouraged to teach young children their address and the phone numbers of who to call in case of an emergency.
If there is a chirping sound coming from the smoke detector, the batteries need to be changed. The McAllen Fire Department suggests changing smoke alarm batteries every spring and fall on Day Light Savings.
According to the latest NFPA ‘Smoke Alarms in the U.S.‘ report, working smoke alarms in homes reduce the risk of dying in a reported fire by 55%. Almost three out of five (41%) deaths occur in homes without a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms that fail to operate have caused 16% of deaths which can be due to dead batteries, missing or disconnected batteries, or non-functional power sources.
The McAllen Fire Department will be hosting outreach programs to promote these safety tips throughout the first week of October. They will make appearances at the McAllen Public Library to educate homeschoolers and also plan on going to local elementary schools.
For more information on National Fire Prevention Week, scan the QR code below.
The McAllen Fire Department does not have an updated website as of now, but Dr. Garcia said one is being developed and will be available to the public soon.