EPCC’s Office of Risk Management and Safety is promoting fire safety to all homes, since the National Fire Prevention Month is held on October 2016.
Lieutenant Gilbert Ramirez (holding ax) giving instructions to EPCC students from the Fire Technology Program.
According to El Paso’s Fire Department Tradition of Excellence 2015 Annual Report, El Paso experienced 1,321 fires.
The Office of Risk Management and Safety also mentioned that three out of five homes that a fire occurred in, either didn’t have a smoke alarm or had an alarm that wasn’t working.
“Most home fires do not have smoke detectors or checked batteries and what really kills you in a fire is the smoke,” said Risk Manager, Nancy Tharp.
The Office of Risk Management and Safety mentioned how important it is to create and practice an evacuation plan for homes, in order to increase the chances of surviving a fire and getting out quickly.
The National Fire Prevention Association suggests to install alarms on every level of a house, which includes outside and inside of rooms, and mentions how the ability to get out of a house during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
An advance planning would include getting everyone together in the household, make an escape plan, look for two ways out of every room, make sure that windows and doors open easily, and plan an outside meeting place where everyone will meet once everyone has escaped.
“The detectors are battery and hardwire operated and the smoke alarms should be checked at least every month and batteries should be changed every year,” said Tharp.
Tharp mentioned that there are smoke detectors that last up to ten years, which don’t have to be checked as often as other smoke detectors, but should still be cautious.
There are students and older individuals who are more exposed to fire incidents and aren’t aware of the importance of having a smoke detector updated.
“I wasn’t aware of how many times batteries should be changed in a smoke detector. I think that this topic is important mostly for elderly people because many elderly people have Alzheimer or dementia, and many times they live alone or live with a partner but forget to turn off the oven and are just more exposed to fire incidents than a younger person,” said Juan Trujillo, sophomore student at EPCC Valle Verde.
Many of us might not know who is responsible for the smoke detectors in our homes, but Tharp explained that the smoke detectors can either depend on the individual or on the landlord but can ask the fire department to make sure.
“We are thankful to EPCC for letting us run our National Fire Prevention Month ads,” said Tharp.
For more information, visit www.nfpa.org or www.elpasotexas.gov.
You can also contact Safety Specialist, Ivan Flores at 915-831-6381, and Risk Manager, Nancy Tharp at 915-831-6444.