Holiday Feasts and Home Fires
Avoid being one of the nearly 4,300 home fires this Thanksgiving Day.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it is crucial that we use caution while preparing our holiday feasts and have a preparedness plan for cooking fires. Cooking is a great way to bring family and friends together but is the number one cause of home fires and injuries. Did you know that during 2009 – 2013 that U.S. Fire Departments handled an average of 162,400 home fires involving cooking equipment per year and these fires caused an annual average of 430 civilian deaths, 5,400 civilian injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage?
Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. In fact, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) states that there are nearly 4,300 fires on Thanksgiving Day. That’s more than double the daily average for residential fires. The leading cause of Thanksgiving Day fires is food that is left unattended while cooking, which is why SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton asks for you to be aware while entertaining!
Here are some interesting statistics regarding Cooking Fires:
- Forty-Two percent of surveyed consumers say they have left the kitchen to talk or text on the phone, and 35 percent to use the computer to check email while food is cooking. If you tend to do a lot of cooking, invest in a second or third timer. They're an inexpensive way to stay safe while ensuring that your holiday dishes do not overcook.
- Nearly half (45 percent) of consumers say they have left the room to watch television or listen to music. Multi-tasking during the busy holiday season is tempting. If you succumb, it's important not to leave the stove or oven unattended
- Nearly one third (29 percent) of consumers reported that they have intentionally disabled smoke alarms while cooking.
- More than half (56 percent) of surveyed consumers said they plan to cook for family or friends during the holidays this year - with 42 percent of those cooking for groups of 11 or more.
- A large majority (83 percent) acknowledged that they have engaged in dangerous cooking behaviors such as disabling the smoke alarm and leaving cooking food unattended to perform non-essential activities - including watching television, talking or texting on the phone, checking email or doing laundry.
- Looking at the general survey population, a startling one in 10 adults has actually left the home completely while cooking, and others left cooking food unattended to perform non-essential activities.
(Survey Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance, 2013)
If you are aware of how to stay safe AND what to do in case you experience a cooking disaster, you should be able to enjoy this time with your family and friends. If all else fails, call SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton! We have the equipment, expertise and experience to help make the disaster like it never even happened. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Keeping Kids Safe From Fire
Did you know that children under the age of five are twice as likely as the rest of us to die in a fire? What can we do about that? Educating your children and preparing for whatever happens goes a long way.
Make it a priority to set aside a night to talk to the members of your household about fire safety. Many children are curious about fire and don’t realize the risk it poses. Consider bringing up the following talking points in a calm but firm tone of voice:
- Explain to the young ones in your family that matches and lighters are tools for adults only, and to alert an adult if these tools are lying around the house.
- Teach your children what your fire alarm sounds like, and walk them through the escape plan several times per year.
- Know two ways out of every room, in case one exit is blocked or dangerous to use.
- Have a plan for young children who cannot get outside by themselves. You will need to wake babies and very young children to help them get out. In your plan, talk about who will help each child get out safely.
- Establish a safe meeting place outside your home, and teach children to take nothing with them and to never go back inside. Help them practice going outside.
And here are some tips for the adults in the house:
- Always store lighters and matches out of sight and reach of young children.
- Do not use lighters, candles or matches as a source of amusement. Children often imitate the actions of their parents.
- Remember, no lighter is child-proof! Some are merely child-resistant.
- Keep children 3 feet away from anything that can get hot to avoid burns.
For more statistics and information on teaching fire safety to your young ones, call SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton or go to www.usfaparents.gov.
The Rotary International Logo
Congratulations to our Sales and Marketing Representative, Angelique Flynn, for her nomination to as President-Elect at the Rotary Club of Bordentown. She will begin her term as President on July 1, 2015. You can see her speak about Rotary at the Northern Burlington Regional Chamber of Commerce General Meeting on Thursday, March 12th at Town & Country Diner: Route 130 North at Ward Avenue. Bordentown, NJ 08505 at 7:30 a.m. Please email RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org call the Chamber office at 609-298-7774 by March 10th to make your reservation.
Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
Prepare for Preparedness Month
America's PrepareAthon National Day of Action is scheduled for September 30, 2014.
September is National Preparedness Month, so I am focusing this edition of my blog on how you can get more involved in the effort. Next month, we will focus on specific tips for packing your Go Bag, creating a disaster plan, and sheltering in place. I am currently enrolled in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course for Burlington County, NJ and I am shocked at how much I didn’t know! For example, did you know that you should pack wool socks in your Go Kit because they dry faster than cotton? I encourage my readers to take this class for themselves, with their families. Many counties in New Jersey offer the program several times throughout the year. CERT is a critical program in the effort to engage everyone in America in making their communities safer, more prepared, and more resilient when incidents occur.
CERT basic training is designed to help you prepare yourself and your family for a catastrophic disaster. Because emergency services personnel will be unable to help everyone immediately, you can make a difference by using your CERT training to save lives and protect property. You will learn about disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue operations, animal safety, disaster psychology and terrorism, among other issues. If you are interested in learning more about this FREE program, please locate and contact your nearest team: FEMA CERT. After completion of CERT Basic Training, you can seek additional training opportunities through CART (Community Animal Relief Team), Community Relations, Shelter Management, and other areas.
The American Red Cross also offers a wide variety of classes that meet the needs of the general public, workplaces, schools and organizations. Their programs empower people with lifesaving health, safety and preparedness skills through training courses. Some of their offerings include: First Aid, CPR, and AED training, lifeguarding, babysitting, swimming and water safety, and healthcare and public safety.
To prepare your business or workplace environment for disaster, I recommend two programs. The first is the Ready Rating Program, offered by the American Red Cross. Ready Rating is a first-of-its-kind membership program designed to help businesses, organizations, and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members join this free, self-paced program and complete a 123-point self-assessment of your level of preparedness to reveal areas for improvement. You’ll learn tips and best practices so you don’t feel like you’re alone out there. And most importantly, members make a commitment to improve their readiness score each year – because preparedness is a continuous process and not a one-time effort. Learn more and get started at: Ready Rating.
The second program is the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile. Another free program, the ERP will help you develop a plan of action for your building, to help minimize business interruption. According to the latest research, following a disaster, as many as 50% of businesses close down. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be. Learn more and get started at: SERVPRO Ready.
Finally, if you are ready to engage in a one-day hands-on event, the second National Day of Action for America’s PrepareAthon! is scheduled for September 30, 2014 and will revolve around taking the actions to prepare for specific hazards including: earthquake, flood, wildfire, tornado, hurricane, and winter storm, America's PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises. Learn more and get started at: America's PrepareAthon!