This year’s theme is ‘Use Candles with Care: When you go out,
Gilroy – National Fire Prevention Week kicks of Sunday, and this year’s theme is “Use Candles with Care: When you go out, blow out!”
During the week of Oct. 9 to Oct. 15, residents can visit Gilroy Fire Department locations from 8am to 5pm to pick up educational materials on fire prevention. Fire safety information will also air on local Channel 17.
“Many people don’t realize that they are at greater danger from fire at home than anywhere else,” according to an NFPA spokesperson. “This year, we’ll be focusing in particular on candle fires, a serious and growing part of the fire problem.”
The National Fire Prevention Association chose candle safety as the topic for this year’s prevention week candles have become an increasing cause of house fires. The association found that 41 percent of home fires started by candles ignited in the bedroom. At least 11 percent of candle fires started in homes after someone fell asleep.
A national survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the NFPA found that candles are used in 50 percent of households but only 30 percent of the households burning candles have rules against leaving them unattended.
“Placing candles a safe distance from anything that can burn and extinguishing them when you leave the room are important measures when using candles
in the home,” said Judy Comoletti, NFPA assistant vice president for public
Gilroy fire departments are using fire prevention week to remind locals about other safety tips. They suggest residents have smoke alarms installed on each level of the home, check them monthly to make sure they still work and change the batteries annually. Other tips include replacing smoke alarms every 10 years and practicing a fire escape plan twice a year with the entire family.
For more information on Fire Prevention Week visit www.nfpa.org or call the Gilroy Fire Department Public Education Office at 846-0372.
Tips to stay safe
Stay in the room where candles are burning.
Keep candles, matches and lighters away from children
Keep lit candles at least one foot from flammable material and on sturdy, uncluttered surfaces.
Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over or burn and are large enough to contain dripping wax.
Trim candle wicks to one-quarter inch before lighting.
Use flashlights and batteries for emergency lighting instead of candles.
Extinguish candles when they are within two inches of their holders use a snuffer.