Become A Fireman

After a House Fire

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Fire Safety

The reason people become a firefighter is to help you in fire related situations where you can not help yourself. If you have a house fire, firefighters will come to the rescue to extinguish the flames. Once the fire has been put out, and the damage has been done, it can be hard to recover from.

Anybody who has suffered through the traumatic experience, and lived through a house fire can tell you how devastating it can be to your life. Everything changes all at once and you have no control over it. However, after the experience of being through a house fire, there are things you can do to regain control of your life, and ensure your stability. Although a house fire is life changing, do not allow it to be life shattering.

As long as everyone got out of the home safely and the firefighters job has been completed, ceasing the fire, if neither you, nor your loved ones have suffered any physical injuries or health concerns, you can breathe a sigh of relief and take the time you need to rest. The shock of being in a house fire needs time to wear off, and your nerves need to straighten out before you can attempt to deal with anything else. The first 24 hours following a fire should be used to gain any possible necessary items you may have lost in the fire. Such items include medicines, clothing, food, and temporary shelter. Disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army may be able to provide you with these necessities. Directly following a fire, it may be tempting to re-enter the home to claim any personal items you can. This is not recommended, as the stability of the home may have been jeopardized during the fire, and it may be unsafe to go inside. Also, fires may re-ignite putting your safety at risk again. Any foods, medications, or drinks that were in the home during the house fire should be disposed of, as they will no longer be usable.

Once you leave your home, you may want to board up any possible openings in your home that trespassers may enter. Also, contact your local police department to let them know your home will be unoccupied temporarily. For insurance purposes, keep every receipt for any money you spend as a result of the fire as these will be necessary to verify any losses you will claim on your income tax forms. If you are able to go back inside your home, make sure you plan it ahead of time. Think of where things are located in the house and plan a walk-through to gather any personal belongings and valuables. Some important items you may want to retrieve are your identification such as driver’s license, birth certificates, and social security cards. You will also need your insurance information, and prescription medication information. If any family members have lost eyeglasses try to find those as well. Finally, make sure to gather any valuables such as bankbooks, cash, credit cards, or jewelry.

house-fireAlways keep in mind that certain people will need to be notified of your relocation, even though it will be temporary. Be sure to let family and friends know so that they will not be worried about you. Let your employer and children’s school know as well. Any delivery services will need to know your new address so that you can have deliveries put on hold for a period of time. Your temporary address will need to be given to the post office so your mail can be re-routed. Utility companies should be informed of a new address as well as the fire department information in case they have any questions regarding the fire, or if any situations arise. It is very difficult trying to remember everything once you have been through a fire, but these are all very important things, which need to be done, in order to lessen the ongoing trauma of a house fire.

Child Fire Safety

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Fire Safety

Fire departments are once again trying to educate people and families on the important issue of fire protection and safety. A small fire can quickly turn into a raging inferno in a very short period of time. Because of this, it is extremely important to educate yourself as well as your children about fire safety.

The number one cause of house fires started by children happened with a lighter or matches. Children seem to find matches and lighters irresistible and can quickly learn how to use them even if they have a child safety feature. These items should always be kept out of reach from the child in order to prevent a possible tragedy. If your child begins showing an interest in fire or matches, there is help you can receive in the form of counseling. The counseling provided will help your child redirect these dangerous desires toward something that is not life threatening or dangerous. Most adolescents, who are “fire starters” and have committed arson, openly admit to having played with matches and lighters often as children. To remove any possible temptation, always keep any matches or lighters in a place where children will not have access.

Another major cause of fire injury with children is clothing related fires, which occur when a child becomes too close to an open flame or source of heat such as a stove element. This may cause their clothing to catch fire. Teaching children at an early age about fire and the damage it can cause will help them to develop a respect for fire. Child fire education may include the basics of what they should do in the event of a fire, or how to “stop, drop, and roll”. This is an important part of firefighter training, and is especially important for a child to learn because their first instinct may be to run away if they catch fire. The concept of stop, drop, and roll is a simple one, but it could save your children’s life. It is also important to always make sure your child is supervised to prevent any possible fire accident from happening in the first place.

child-fire-safetyA law was passed in the 1970′s indicating that all children’s sleepwear had to be manufactured from flame retardant or self extinguishing fabric. Before this law passed, fire related death of children was at an all time high. This decreased by over ninety percent once the law went into effect. This change helped to raise the general awareness of fire dangers and also resulted in another step toward better fire safety and protection practices. Part of a firefighter’s job is to warn parents about possible sleeping garments such as t-shirts and shorts, which are not manufactured out of a flame retardant fabric. You should always read the label on the clothing your child sleeps in, because if your child is not protected with flame retardant or self extinguishing fabrics while they’re sleeping, it could literally be a matter of life and death.