The Christmas season has arrived, and many gatherings and parties are either being planned or attended. This is a time of year that we should pay special attention to fire safety. Statistically speaking, we know that the arrival of December usually means a rise in the number of house fires. Increased usage of heating appliances is one reason, however another common cause is distraction and drinking. When entertaining, people are often pulled away from the kitchen while cooking to great guests or to engage in conversation. This is the most common way kitchen fires get started, the stove is left unattended for what was originally intended to be a few moments, but turns into minutes. It doesn’t take very long for a stove top fire to turn into a serious fire, before you know it half of the kitchen is ablaze and the entire house is smoke damaged. If you need to great guests, turn the stove off or have them come to you. Another serious concern is late night cooking after drinking. People coming home after a party often feel like a snack, however many fires have been started by the cook falling asleep while waiting for something on the stove. If you have been drinking and feel like a snack; order a pizza or make a sandwich – DO NOT start cooking.
Fire related deaths have risen in 2008, to date there have been 95 deaths, 2 more than all of 2007 and 10 more than this time last year. Trends have been for fire related deaths to decrease over the last 10 years and possibly this year is a statistical abnormality. However we have to be careful that we do not become complacent with regards to fire safety. Maintaining smoke alarms and having the proper amount required by law is a great start to your fire safety program, however paying attention to prevention is always the best course of action.
The staff of the Russell Fire Department;
Chief Bruce Armstrong, Deputy Chief Darcy Provost, Captains Brian Murray, Duane Bourguignon and Mike Seguin, Firefighters David Scott, Dennis Bernier, Steven Ion, Travis Ford, Joe Pereira, John Gregg, Ron Hubbard, Adam Armstrong, Billy Cashman, Keith O’Brien, Rob Brydon, Bruce Woolsey, Greg Bols, Ken Carscadden, Greg LeClair, Helen Read, Tony Boulay, Sean Mullen and Kevin Dupuis. Wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe holiday.