In recognition of National Volunteer Week in April, First Alert, the most trusted brand in fire safety, is teaming up with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to show their gratitude and appreciation for volunteer fire departments across the country.
With first responders facing unprecedented conditions nationwide, the donation of 1,000 First Alert rechargeable fire extinguishers will go to departments registered with the NVFC’s Fire Corps program to help fire service volunteers make an immediate impact in the fire readiness of their communities.
Distributing fire extinguishers
While millions of people across the country are spending more time at home – and as home cooking increases – it is important to educate the community about the essential role that fire extinguishers play in a home safety plan. For this reason, First Alert and the NVFC have partnered to develop the fire extinguisher donation program, which will allow volunteer fire departments to distribute fire extinguishers to keep homes and families safe.
“With more people home and cooking, the risk of fire incidents increases,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert. “According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number one cause of home fires in the United States is unattended cooking, with ranges or cooktops accounting for 62 percent of home fire incidents. Many small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early.”
Proper placement and maintenance of extinguishers
Departments should practice recommended safety protocols and electronically share information
Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet, an astonishing 70 percent of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. The donation program is supplemented by an online training course, which will enable volunteer firefighters to educate their communities on how to properly and safely use this important line of defense.
Departments should practice recommended safety protocols and electronically share information with residents under the current climate of social distancing. “When a fire starts, every second counts. Especially with the increase in people in their homes, knowing the proper placement and maintenance of extinguishers – in addition to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms – can help reduce the risk of severe fire incidents,” added Wey.
Placing fire extinguishers in convenient locations
It is important to place fire extinguishers in convenient locations in the kitchen and garage, and on every level of the home. A simple way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS:
- Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
- Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the trigger.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Carbon monoxide alarm installations
The NVFC’s Fire Corps program utilizes community volunteers to assist resource-constrained fire departments with non-operational tasks such as community education and smoke and carbon monoxide alarm installations. The extinguisher donation program will enable these volunteers to equip residents with this important line of defense as well as provide instruction on how to properly use an extinguisher.
“We are grateful to First Alert for this donation to help our volunteer departments keep communities safe and decrease the number of fire-related calls,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We also are thankful for our fire service volunteers and the commitment they make to keep their own neighbors safe from threats of fire and carbon monoxide.”