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Welcome to Remington's Blog: Visit us each month for a new update on Fire Safety!

Remington's Dad is Russell Baker and he is very proud of his boy and the wonderful work he performs in his community. Here is Remington in his own words  :)

My name is “Remington the Fire Dog” and I work with the Independence Kansas Fire Department in the Public Relations and Fire Prevention Education fields. Welcome to my blog, enjoy!

 Remington's Blogs:
 March 2011 Blog: Child Safety

Greetings everyone……It’s your old buddy, Remington The Fire Dog, here with this month's installment of “Remington’s Fire Safety Tips” focusing on Child Safety.

Hi everyone, Well….It’s that time again. So here comes this month’s edition of “Remington’s Fire Safety Tips”. It is with a heavy heart that I will be discussing this month’s topic because of breaking news being broadcast just prior to this being written. With that being said, our focus for fire safety this month will deal with children.

Now I know that this topic may not necessarily directly affect us all, but I am equally sure that there are many of you out there that have homes just full of those cute little dog lovin’ munchkins or that have other family or friends that have small children. So without being too morbid, I’m going to throw out a few statistics for your consideration. 

According to a statistical study done in 2007, typically, children under the age of 15 have a lower percentage of mortality than that of the general population when talking about Fire Related Deaths. This, however, can be misleading when grouping all children together in one segment. When breaking children out into 0-4, 5-9, and 10-14 age groups we learn something very alarming, this being that over 50% of all Fire Related Child Deaths occur in the 0-4 age group. And, as would stand to reason, this group also suffers from the highest percentage (45.5%) of Fire Related Child Injuries. OK…This tells us the “who”…now let’s look at the “why”.

When you take a closer look at younger children, it becomes apparent that they are not able to sense danger in the same way as adults. They have a very limited ability to react quickly and properly in emergency situations and typically have little control over their environment. This substantially increases their risk of death and injury in a fire. So now we have the “why”. That leaves us with the “what”. By that I mean what actions can we take to avoid contributing negatively to these statistics? The United States Fire Administration has been kind enough to furnish us with this shortlist of things we can do to help keep children of all ages “Fire Safe”.

  • Keep matches, lighters and other items used for ignition in a secured drawer or cabinet out of the reach of children.
  • Teach your children to tell you when they find matches and lighters.
  • Always dress children in pajamas that meet Federal flammability standards. Avoid dressing children for sleep in loose-fitting, 100% cotton garments, such as oversized t-shirts.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help from another location.
  • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out.
  • Demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground, and roll if clothes catch fire.
  • Develop and practice a home fire escape plan and designate a meeting place outside. Get out and stay out.
  • Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm.
  • Replace mattresses made prior to the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burnt matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.

What a great list of ideas and suggestions. All that needs to be done now is to implement them. So… do all you can around your home to address the things listed. Visit your local Fire Department, letting your children familiarize themselves with fire department personnel by having a fireman “Bunker Up” in their Personal Protective Clothing (PPE) and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). Most importantly, make sure you have Working Smoke Detectors in your home and that everyone knows what they sound like and what to do when one has activated. What’s that called?…

Oh yea….Fire Drills. Once a month is not too many with young children in the home.

Well…That’s all for this month. Hope everyone is having a great start to their year. Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner….Time to change those smoke detector batteries.

Remember…Smoke Detectors Save Lives!

 - I’m “Remington the Fire Dog” and I’m out of here!  :)

If you’d like more information on this subject, it is available on the US Fire Administrations web site at: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v11i9.pdf
 

The following is a partial e-mail received by our Department from the USFA and is the driving force behind this month’s blog. 

Heartbreaking: Child Fatalities

Two days before Valentine’s Day, two children perished in a home fire in Oak Grove, OR.  One day after Valentine’s Day, two children and an adult died in a home fire in Jonesboro, AR.  In a month filled with hearts and roses, these families received flowers for a different reason and their hearts were most assuredly torn.

You and your department know all too well that people are dying every day in home fires across the country.

Children are one of two high-risk groups that experience a higher percentage of fatalities, as compared to the general population.  The U.S. Fire Administration is working to reduce the number of people, including children, killed in home fires.

The U.S. Fire Administration’s
Fire Safety C
ampaign for Parents and Caregivers of Babies and Toddlers reaches out to parents, caregivers and the Fire Service.  It’s an excellent resource of fire safety information that contains materials that are 100 percent ready for distribution to people in your community. 

Ask a Colleague:  Are You a Member of the Quick Response Media Corps?
The USFA’s Quick Response Media Corps is a great way to get the latest news and updates on fire safety campaigns, as well as general fire safety information.  Invite a colleague to become a member of the Quick Response Media Corps.  It’s free and carries no commitment!
For more information about USFA’s Quick Response Media Corps or to enroll online, go to: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/subjects/fireprev/qr/index.shtm

USFA Focus on Fire Safety:  Children

Did you know that 50 percent of child fire deaths affect those under the age of five? Escaping from a fire can be difficult for very young children, because they generally lack the motor skills and mental capabilities needed to quickly escape a burning building. The U.S. Fire Administration provides fire prevention information to teach children and their caregivers about the dangers of fire. Protect your kids: install and maintain smoke alarms and residential sprinklers and practice home fire escape plans to ensure your children will be safe if a fire were to start in your home.

Prevention Starts with You!

Ninety-six percent of homes in the United States have at least one smoke alarm. However, only three-quarters of all homes have at least one working smoke alarm.*

Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths in 2003-2006 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

* Source: National Fire Protection Association

What Can You Do?

  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement, and both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.
  • Consider installing a 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarm, which is sealed so it cannot be tampered with or opened.

For more information about Focus on Fire Safety, go to: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/children.shtm

Join my Fan Page on Facebook below:

When you visit the Page, CLICK the
"LIKE" to join my fan page and keep up to date with myself and my dad!

 For more information on other fire safety issues, visit the United States Fire
Administration’s web site at:
http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/index.shtm

I’m Remington the Fire Dog and I’m out of here! :)

 February 2011 Blog: Portable Heaters, refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers

Greetings everyone……It’s your old buddy, Remington The Fire Dog, here with this month's installment of “Remington’s Fire Safety Tips”.

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but “BOY”, it’s sure cold here and nobody likes laying around in front of a warm Fire Place or next to a Portable Heat Source in the living room better than me….well, maybe my Mom, which brings us to this months topic,
Winter Heat Sources In The Home”.

I would suspect that most of us have what would be considered conventional Natural Gas or Electric central heating units in our homes, these being statistically the safest means of keeping “Ol Man Winter” at bay just outside our doors. But then there’s also that Rustic Wood Stove or that Romantic Fire Place, that in many cases provide essential warmth in many homes this time of year. These are all an acceptable and reasonably safe means of home heating IF AND AS LONG AS they are well maintained. Maintenance should be done annually on these units prior to the start of use for the season, and unless you’re a real “Do It Your Self-er”, they should most likely be serviced by a “Professional”. In the case of wood stoves and fireplaces, care should especially be given to the cleaning of flues prior to each years use. So far, so good,…right???

OK...Now let’s look at some other “not so conventional” means of home heating. We will group these into what we’ll refer to as “Portable Space Heaters” (My Mom just loves these little foot warmers). In this day and age, with Natural Gas and Electricity prices being what they are, more and more people are looking for alternative methods for heating small rooms and spaces in the home, and it seems that there has become a plethora of these small, portable heating units being put to use. We have your basic “Electric Forced Air Unit” that plugs in and can be set in a variety of locations within a room. There is the “Electric Baseboard Unit” that sets against the wall and radiates heat into a room. We also have the “Oil Filled Radiator Unit” that is heated electrically and can be placed out into the room where wanted, and I am sure, several other varieties of HOME units that I have completely forgotten to mention. In addition to these, there are also “Fuel Fired Portable Space Heaters” available for SHOP AND CONSTRUCTION USE ONLY!!!  These would include but not be limited to propane, kerosene, or diesel fuels. (NEVER USE FUEL FIRED SPACE HEATERS IN YOUR HOME).

Now for some history on these “Hot” little heaters. Did you know that there are an estimated 3,800 portable heater fires every year in the US and that they account for 25% of all fatal residential building heating fires? These fires result in an average of approximately 115 deaths, 250 injuries, and $98 million in property loss annually. Fifty percent (50%) of these fires are the simple result of carelessly placing heaters too close to combustible materials such as blankets, sheets, comforters, clothing piles, and upholstered chairs and sofas. Other factors contributing to portable heater fires are electrical failures and unit malfunctions among other things,… and can be as simple as leaving a portable heater unattended. Who knows….even I might inadvertently leave my favorite stuffed toy right in front of the heater while nobody’s looking or paying attention. BAD DOG!!!!!!!!!!!

So, now that we have some facts….what can we do to make sure we don’t contribute negatively to any of the above statistics? Why don’t we make a list of Remington’s:

PORTABLE SPACE HEATER NO NO’S:

1.  Never place heaters close to anything combustible.

2.  Never use extension cords for power sources to heaters. Always plug directly
     into a wall outlet.

3.  Never use heaters that are not listed with an approved testing laboratory.

4.  Never leave heaters unattended.

5.  Never, Never, Never use Fuel Fired Portable Heaters in the home.

In conclusion, almost all Portable Heater fires are preventable. Always be extremely careful and vigilant if using portable heaters around your home and be aware of children and pets moving through rooms that have working heaters. PLEASE…..make sure you have working Smoke Detectors in your home and test them monthly. “SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES”.

As a “Post Script” to this month’s blog, I would like to address one of my readers concerns(I love having readers). This is something we might all be guilty of in our own homes without giving it a second thought until disaster strikes. I know it went unnoticed in our house until it was brought to my attention. And, it can be alleviated with some simple maintenance from time to time.

The villain in this story is lint. Even in the cleanest of homes, lint can accumulate in some hard to reach “out of sight, out of mind” areas, such as under a stove, dishwasher, or frig. This is especially true in kitchens with hardwood or tile floors. Another place it accumulates in even greater amounts is under washers and dryers, and especially in dryer vent hoses.

So…“What’s so bad about a little lint?” you might ask. Simply put, it is VERY COMBUSTIBLE and under the right conditions, with today’s heating elements or hot running electric motors, can ignite unnoticed, resulting in major property damage and even death. WOW!!!….What’s a dog to do?

Well, that’s kind of the easy part. Remember that “MAINTENANCE” word? From time to time, depending on your own personal circumstances, you should pull the fronts off appliances or move them from the wall and give them a thorough cleaning underneath and around their motors if they have one. A vacuum with a good flat wand will do wonders. And, as for that ornery dryer vent hose, take it loose from the dryer and not only clean out the hose but clean out the inside of the dryer where the hose attaches as well. Something as simple as this could prevent a major catastrophe in your home. Food for thought. Did I just say food? I hope Dad remembered to pick up my dinner for tonight.  :-)
 

Join my Fan Page on Facebook below:

When you visit the Page, CLICK the
"LIKE" to join my fan page and keep up to date with myself and my dad!

 For more information on other fire safety issues, visit the United States Fire
Administration’s web site at:
http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/index.shtm

I’m Remington the Fire Dog and I’m out of here! :)

 January 2011 Blog: Fire Safety Tips

Greetings everyone... Remington here with another short blurb
about Fire Safety around the home.

This month we will focus on those cute little mood setters called
candles. Now I know there are lots of you Ladies out there, and more than likely a
few Guys too, that just love these waxy, colorful, and sweet smelling little fire sticks,
including my own Mom. And…. when used in a safe and proper manner, they can
create that perfect ambiance for any particular room or occasion. They are also a great
tool if the lights go out and your favorite flashlight decides to go on the fritz. But when
used improperly or carelessly they can be an absolute monster with a huge appetite for
disaster. Just leaving one around me on a low table when I’ve got my “Happy Tail” going
is just asking for trouble. It’s so hard to control that thing….

Statistically, on average, there are 42 home candle fires reported EVERY DAY and
they result in an estimated 166 FIRE DEATHS and another estimated 1,289 Candle Fire
related injuries each year
. In 20% of these Candle Fires the candles are left unattended
or abandoned. WHY?... Did you know that 36% of these fires began in bedrooms
with 12% being the result of people falling asleep while burning candles, and that these
bedroom fires are responsible for 36% of the associated deaths due to these fires? Or
that 50% of all Candle Fires result from candles being placed too close to combustible
materials? These are just a few of the statistics compiled by the
U.S. Fire Administration over the years detailing candle fires.

My point is that ALL CANDLE FIRES ARE PREVENTABLE!!!!! So please…if you
choose to use candles around the home, use them responsibly. Keep them up and away
from children and pets, in proper holders, and always in sight. Now…. did everyone get
that last part about “in sight”?....That means to not only keep candles within sight
while in use around the home but also, unless you can sleep with one eye open,
DON’T BE STUDYING THE BACKS OF THOSE EYELIDS WHILE YOU HAVE
CANDLES BURNING.

Join my Fan Page on Facebook below:

When you visit the Page, CLICK the
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In conclusion, please be safe when it comes to candles and make sure that your smoke
detectors are in good working order. SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES. For
more information on candles and other fire safety issues, visit the United States Fire
Administration’s web site at:
http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/index.shtm

I’m Remington the Fire Dog and I’m out of here! :)

 December 2010 Blog: Fire Safety Tips
Greetings……..

It’s me again with this months installment of “Remington’s Fire Safety Tips”. “Tis’ the Season to be Jolly” so let’s all take a quick look at some “Fire Safety Tips” for the holidays to insure that we can do just that.

Whether it be Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or New Year’s Eve, we,
as peoples of all societies, have taken to the long standing traditions of
adorning our homes and businesses with all kinds of holiday “BLING”
consisting of elaborate lighting schemes and decoratively lit ornaments,
all capable, in the right (or should I say wrong) combination, of putting
our homes’ or businesses’ electrical systems on amperage overload.
Combine this with an increased Fire Load from ornamental trees (real
or manufactured) and increased paper, plastic, and wood products that
seem to come with the season, and you have a real recipe for fire. Based
on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the
U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), “an estimated 250 home fires involving
Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involving holiday lights and
other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires resulted in 21
deaths and 43 injuries” not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars
in property damage. So….what does this mean for me and you and what
can we do to insure that we do not contribute to one or more of the above
statistics?

Let’s start off with lighting and electrical issues. First and foremost,
inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the
insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before
putting them up. And only use lighting that is listed by an approved testing
laboratory. Second, DO NOT OVERLOAD ELECTRICAL OUTLETS. In
the case of extension cords or strings in series, always make the connection
at the outlet last. No wiring or cord should ever feel warm to the touch.
Third, and I know this is a tough one, do not leave holiday lighting on
unattended.

Now for my favorite decoration……THE TREE, Mom gets so excited when
I chase the cat clear to the top (It’s all in fun you know). But seriously, if
you decide to incorporate a natural tree as part of your décor, get a fresh
one and MAKE SURE TO KEEP IT WATERED. A natural tree has usually
exceeded its SAFE LIFE SPAN after approximately two weeks so don’t put
it up too soon or leave it up too long. If you are using an artificial tree, make
sure it is FLAME RETARDANT.

Not to be redundant, but as we discussed last month, do not become so
distracted with family and friends that you forget what’s cooking in the
kitchen. And remember your smoke detectors.
SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the November Blog,
you may do so on my Facebook page under the “Discussions” tab. The November Blog is also listed below but be sure to visit my Fan Page and become a fan.

Join my Fan Page on Facebook below:

When you visit the Page, CLICK the
"LIKE" to join my fan page and keep up to date with myself and my dad!

For more information about “Holiday Fire Safety
visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s web site at:
http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/holiday.shtm

So here’s to everyone having a safe holiday season and a “Happy New
Year”. Do your part to help keep you, your family, and your pets fire free.

I’m “Remington the Fire Dog” and I’m out of here. :)

 November 2010 Blog: Fire Safety Tips
Greetings to all.

Since this is my 1st time writing a blog, I’ll start with
a simple introduction. My name is “Remington the Fire Dog” and I work
with the Independence Ks. Fire Department in the Public Relations and Fire
Prevention Education fields. OK….Enough with the formalities. Let’s just
get right to the meat of this blog, that being to talk about doing the things
around our homes that will ensure our families and our pets are as safe as
possible from the devastating effects of fire.

This month we will concentrate on one of my favorites, the
Thanksgiving Day Holiday (I just love turkey legs). Did you know that in
the United States, Thanksgiving Day fires in residential structures (1,450)
cause more property damage (21 mil) and claim more lives (15) than
residential structure fires on any other day of the year, and that cooking is
by far the leading cause of residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day
(42%), nearly double that of a normal day?
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “Food left unattended
is the leading factor in the ignition of residential cooking fires on
Thanksgiving Day. As with cooking fires in general, the preponderance (83
percent) of Thanksgiving Day residential structure fires are the result of
incidents involving stoves and ovens.” What this means in a “dog food can”
for all of us, is to not become so distracted with family and friends that we
forget about watching the things we have cooking in the kitchen. It is good
practice to NEVER leave food cooking on top of the stove unattended, and
NEVER go to sleep while cooking, even if the food is contained in the oven.

Join my Fan Page on Facebook below:

When you visit the Page, CLICK the
"LIKE" to join my fan page and keep up to date with myself and my dad!

Now, to change the subject slightly, for most of us, we recently
experienced the “daylight savings” time change. The reason this is
note worthy is because the time change that occurs twice a year, is our
semiannual mark for changing the batteries in our 9volt Smoke Detectors.
Did everyone remember? If you have 9volt battery powered detectors, and
haven’t changed the batteries, now is the time. If you’ve already done it,
GREAT. If you don’t have smoke detectors in your homes, please install
them and test them monthly. SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES.
Please, everyone do your part to ensure a safe and happy holiday for
everyone. Literally watch what you’re cooking and make sure your family
and pets are protected by having working smoke detectors in your home.

I’m “Remington the Fire Dog” and I’m out of here. :)



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