Posts tagged ‘fire safety’

Number of fires up in LC

*published Mar 16, 2010

Chief: Most often, victims ‘just don’t pay attention’
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

The Lake Charles Fire Department is dealing with a higher-than-average number of fires — most of them preventable.

According to Fire Depart–ment records, from March 1 to 15 the department handled 10 building fires, including one involving a death, and six grass fires.

In March 2009, firefighters handled four structure fires and five grass fires.

Chief T.A. Jones with the Fire Prevention Bureau said the uptick during warm months is unusual.

“Our estimates have the fires causing a little more than $700,000 in damage,” Jones said. “A lot of times we get comfortable in our home and just don’t pay attention.”

Causes listed for the fires include a pot left unattended on a stove, an electrical short on an overloaded socket and a candle left burning.

“In some cases, the smoke detector was not working, so the residents did not become aware of the fire until too late,” Jones said.

He said residents should use the switch from standard to daylight saving time as reminder to test smoke detectors or replace the batteries.

“Fire safety is common sense,” Jones said “These fires can happen to anyone, anytime, and unfortunately they tend to happen late at night, which turns into a tragic situation.”

The early-morning hours of March 5 were damaging and deadly.

At about 1 a.m., a fire at a home in the 600 block of North First Avenue claimed the life of 48-year-old Stella Ardoin. She died of smoke inhalation. Jones offered the following tips on preventing fires:

Don’t use extension cords as a permanent socket.

Longterm use can lead to over–heating and short-circuiting.

If a breaker is constantly resetting, call an electrician or the apartment’s maintenance service.

If you smoke inside, empty your ashtrays in an outside trash can.

Store all flammable liquids away from water heaters. The vapors can catch fire.

link: http://bit.ly/bjjdsL

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March 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Fire safety tips apply to children, adults alike

*published Oct. 8, 2009

louviere

Fire Chief Tony Louviere gives Reagan Broussard, 5, a fireman’s hat while, Amber Wells of the Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Department discusses fire prevention and safety tips in a visit with prekindergarten students Tuesday at Lacassine High School. Students toured fire trucks and learned fire safety tips from firefighters from Lacassine and Woodlawn fire departments as part of Fire Prevention Week. BY DORIS MARICLE

Fire Chief Tony Louviere gives Reagan Broussard, 5, a fireman’s hat while, Amber Wells of the Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Department discusses fire prevention and safety tips in a visit with prekindergarten students Tuesday at Lacassine High School. Students toured fire trucks and learned fire safety tips from firefighters from Lacassine and Woodlawn fire departments as part of Fire Prevention Week. BY DORIS MARICLE

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS
Members of the Lake Charles Fire Department are spending this year’s Fire Prevention Week talking to schoolchildren about fire safety, but there are a few things adults need to know, too.

To wit: Pay attention when you’re cooking.

“Too many people leave the kitchen and get sidetracked,” said Chief T.A. Jones. “Even if it’s a short period of time, turn the stove off.”

Jones, citing national statistics, said cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries.

And: Smoke cigarettes, cigars and pipes outside. Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths.

“If they are inside, make sure smokers have deep, sturdy ashtrays,” Jones said. “Never smoke if you are tired, have had alcohol or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.”

The second-leading cause of fire deaths is heating, Jones said. “People need to pay attention to where they put heaters, and make sure you have your chimneys cleaned and inspected before each winter.”

In 2008, the Lake Charles Fire Department responded to 2,571 calls, according to records. Those calls included 114 reports of building fires and 210 reports of cooking fires.

Jones said the estimated damage was $4.2 million.

Fire Prevention Day, which eventually became Fire Prevention Week, was created in 1920 after the Great Chicago Fire, which killed more than 250 people and burned more than 100,000 homes and buildings.

The event inspired new safety codes and the regular promotion of safe practices.

link: http://bit.ly/3iDxg

October 8, 2009 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

Dry conditions make fireworks especially dangerous

*published July 2, 2009
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

As July Fourth approaches, firefighters want residents to be cautious when handling fireworks.

“The area is still suffering from abnormally dry conditions,” said Chief T.A. Jones with the Lake Charles Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau.

He said officials don’t expect enough rain in the next two days to change that.

Fire prevention officers in Westlake, Iowa, Sulphur and DeQuincy stressed that municipal ordinances make it illegal to use fireworks within the city or town limits.

“You can be fined and face possible jail time,” Jones said. “If it causes damage to property, you could be charged with more serious crimes.”

Jones said he recommends that residents go to professional fireworks displays and not to use commercial fireworks at all.

He said adults should supervise fireworks use at homes. Children younger than 9 shouldn’t use any, Jones said.

“In 2006, there were about 32,000 fires as a result of fireworks, and about 1,000 were structure (or building) fires,” he said. “And children between the ages of 5 and 9 are twice as likely to be injured by fireworks.”

Jones said all fireworks should be launched from a hard surface, such as a driveway, and not in the grass.

“Be very careful with bottle rockets, because you have no control over their direction after you light it,” he said.

Residents should keep a bucket of water nearby for fireworks that don’t fully discharge. Do not try to relight them, Jones said.

People should also be careful with sparklers, which, Jones said, most people don’t think are that dangerous.

“They get to about 1,500 degrees when they are lit,” he said. He suggested consumers look for sparklers attached to wooden sticks.

article link: http://bit.ly/11HRFq

July 2, 2009 at 1:44 am Leave a comment