SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As a part of Fire Safety Week, the Savannah Fire Department will conduct a demonstration to show how fast smoking materials can ignite a fire.
The community is invited to the Friday, Oct. 11 demonstration that will be held at the Savannah Fire Rescue Training Center at 10 a.m. The Training Center is located at 280 Agonic Rd. Firefighters will show what happens when a smoldering cigarette falls between the cushions of a couch.
This year three Savannahians have died in smoking-related fires.
On Jan. 15, a 64-year-old man and his pet dog died in a Mohawk Street Apartment. Investigators believe they both died from exposure to smoke and fire caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.
On April 27, a 33-year-old man was found dead on a smoldering couch in an East 37th Street Apartment. They believe he fell asleep while smoking.
On May 5, a 48-year-old woman died from injuries received after falling asleep while smoking on the couch of her Savannah Summit apartment.
In the first nine months of 2019, there have been more than 740 fires in the City of Savannah, including 161 structure fires. Fire safety awareness can reduce those numbers and save lives.
“Fire Prevention Week is a time to focus on fire education. Savannah Fire Rescue makes this a priority year-round but during this time, we make a push to engage with the community and increase awareness,” Savannah Fire Rescue Chief Derik Minard said. “This is an event that occurs across the country and is an opportunity to deliver education through fun events in an effort to decrease fires and injuries across the community.”
Savannah Fire says many of Savannah’s preventable fires are the result of carelessly handled smoking materials, pots left on the stove, frayed electrical cords, and unattended candles or incense.
Savannah Fire has released the following steps to help people prevent or escape a fire, and avoid tragedy:
- Never leave matches, lighters or smoking materials in the reach of children.
- If you smoke, never to use smoking materials in bed or while drowsy.
- Establish a smoking area away from buildings and flammable materials.
- Carefully extinguish smoking materials in sand, water or a deep ashtray.
- Never flick cigarette butts on the ground or out of windows and doors.
- Keep flammable items away from stovetops, candles, space heaters and other sources of heat.
- Never leave the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove.
- Don’t run electrical cords under rugs and never overload extension cords. Have outlets installed instead.
- Never leave burning candles and incense unattended. Always use stable candle holders and incense burners.
- Test smoke alarms monthly. Change alarm batteries twice a year. Replace smoke alarms after 10 years of use.
- Find 2 ways out of every room in your home and develop a fire escape plan with your family.
- Make sure fire escape routes are clutter-free, doors and windows open easily and barred windows have an emergency release.
- Plan an outside meeting place where family members meet after escaping a fire.