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NBC’s “This is Us” Dramatically Demonstrates Critical Home Fire Safety Messages

by NFPA
Published Monday, February 5, 2018

Over the past few weeks, the NBC television show, “This is Us,” has effectively dramatized home fire missteps that can have deadly consequences. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says these dramatizations turned a spotlight on fire safety, a topic many think little about until it’s too late.

“‘This is Us’ showed viewers how characters’ actions and oversights led to tragedy and provides a powerful opportunity to talk about what can be done to prevent fire fatalities in real life,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy .

Generating conversation and increased awareness around home fire safety is more important than ever. While the number of U.S. home fires has declined in recent decades, the likelihood of dying if you have a home fire has actually increased. This is largely due to the fact that today’s home fires burn faster, minimizing the amount of time people have to escape safely.

In “This is Us,” the Pearson family made critical errors in escaping a home fire. First and foremost, no one should ever re-enter a burning building.

“Getting outside and staying out once you’ve escaped a burning building is among the most critical take-aways from the show,” said Carli. “If a person or pet is still trapped inside, tell the firefighters where you think that person might be. Never ever go back inside a burning building.”

Carli notes that it is unlikely that Jack would have been able to re-enter the home, locate the dog and other mementos, and safely exit through the front door with the fire raging quickly.

In addition, a home escape plan would have been a big help to the family, ensuring that they each knew how to exit the home as effectively and efficiently as possible. They also would have known to call the fire department immediately upon getting out.

Previous “This is Us” episodes highlighted the vital importance of installing batteries in smoke alarms, as well as making sure cooking appliances are in good working order and kept well away from anything that can burn. According to NFPA research, the majority of fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

For more information on these and other home fire safety issues, visit nfpa.org/publiceducation. For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

 

 

NFPA Post-Holiday Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more home structure fires in the cooler months than any other time of year. As pine needles begin to drop on living room carpets, NFPA is offering suggestions for safe storage and removal of holiday decorations.

“It’s not uncommon to see residents keeping lights and Christmas trees up past December,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “The reality is, continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out Christmas trees can pose significant fire hazards in and outside the home.”

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance of being deadly. NFPA recommends getting rid of the tree when it’s dry. Dried trees should not be kept in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

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What’s the best way to protect your family from fire? Be ahead of the game, of course. With more than 360,000 home fires reported in the United States in 2009, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), your best defense is a good offense. That’s why Beech Mountain’s Volunteer Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during the October 9-15, 2011, to let our community know: “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” This year’s campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires -- cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

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A couple of years ago, I moved into a new house and found in virtually every light socket a compact fluorescent lamp. These are the spiral light bulbs that are supposed to be much more energy efficient than the incandescent light bulb, which had been the standard since Thomas Edison perfected it in 1879. Indeed, CFLs last up to 15 times longer and use only one-third the energy of traditional light bulbs. Finding that my new home was festooned with them pleased me greatly, as I am equal parts environmentalist and cheapskate. I had read that should a CFL ever shatter the hazmat team should be dispatched because of the bulb’s high mercury content, but I wasn’t very concerned about that, as clumsiness is not amongst my traits.

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Smoking Safety

Careless Smoking: The #1 Cause of Fire Deaths

Fires started with smoking materials are the leading cause of fire-related deaths in the United States and also a leading cause of fire injuries among older people. Cigarette fires occur from being carelessly discarded in the trash, smoking in bed and being dropped in upholstered furniture. Many times alcohol and medication use plays a role. Often the smoker falls asleep, the cigarette falls on a sofa or chair cushion where it can smolder for hours.

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