DELTA TWP, MI (WLNS) – On a national level, the leading cause of building fires, starts in the kitchen. So, locally, in honor of Fire Prevention Week, the Delta Township Fire Department hosted it’s annual open house to educate the public on the rules of fire safety.
And while the rules may seem obvious to the average person, firefighters say there are a lot of misperceptions when it comes to preparing for, or putting out a fire.
There was a lot to be learned at the open house Thursday night. Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires that happen during the nighttime hours, specifically between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
In the U.S, the leading cause of fatal fires, is smoking in bed.
“Here in Delta Township, 60 percent of our fires in 2015 have been smoking related fires,” Michael Roberts, Fire Inspector for The Delta Township Fire Dept. said. “So now we’re trying to make a push not just for kitchen fires, but now we’re trying to make more of a push towards smoking fires.
To put things into perspective, Delta Township firefighters set up a bedroom, lit a single cigarette, and put it on a mattress to demonstrate how fast the flames ignite. Within seconds, the room went from a small amount of flames, to the entire bedroom, engulfed.
“I didn’t know that a cigarette could make that big of a fire and all of that smoke,” Jaden Watson-Doyle said.
The demonstration not only shows how dangerous smoking in bed can be, but also how important working smoke detectors are.
On a national level, 3 out of 4 fatal fires are a result of non-working smoke detectors, which is why the key message for this year’s fire prevention week is to demonstrate the importance of installing one.
“Not having a smoke alarm increases your risk of dying in a fire by three,” Roberts said.
Lessons to be learned whether you’re 5, or 50.
Full list of ways you can keep your home safe from fires, here.