This week is national Fire Prevention Safety Week – and this year they’re striking out against the leading cause of fires at home.
“More fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home,” warn the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), during their Fire Prevention Safety Week. “Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries. Between 2007 and 2011, U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires – resulting in 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 civilian injuries and $853 million in direct damage.”
Kitchen fires hit particularly close to home for EgressWindows.com, as our egress basement windows and window wells can often be the difference between life and death for those caught in a kitchen fire.
Firefighters often have to rescue people trapped in basements when a fire starts in the kitchen – including basement apartments and finished basements in residential properties.
Without a means of egress, firefighters struggle to get into a building; and those trapped downstairs run the risk of rapidly being overcome by smoke, or having the entire building collapse down on top of them.
Kitchen fires are especially dangerous because basement stairways are often accessed in the kitchen area; blocking what can often be the only means of escape for those trapped downstairs.
Basement apartments also pose a risk, as the kitchen is often located where the front door is; and the same danger of blocking the only exit point exists.
Egress windows offer a way for fire fighters to enter a building when doors or windows elsewhere become inaccessible, and also provide a secondary “means of egress” for residents – allowing people to climb easily and safely out of the home through a window well located in a bedroom or living room.
For more information about kitchen fires, and Fire Prevention Safety week, check out the website of the National Fire Protection Agency. They have a host of materials available, including videos like the one below; advising kids and parents on how to stay safe in the kitchen.