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Fire Prevention Week & Valle Love

 
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Did you know that October 9th through 15th is Fire Prevention Week? This week, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) is educating the public about basic, but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. Their theme for 2016 is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” Below you’ll find valuable information about checking your smoke alarms, fire safety preparedness for your family, and information about the upcoming Valle Love event in honor of our friends affected by the Valle Landing Fire.

Check Your Smoke Alarms
According to the NFPA, 3 of every 5 home fire deaths in the United States result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Almost 40% of the fire deaths that occur in the U.S. are in homes with no smoke alarms. NFPA recommends replacing smoke alarms after 10 years because that is typically the life expectancy of the devices. After 10 years, the sensors in smoke alarms can begin to lose their sensitivity.

fire-2.jpg- As a result of those and related findings, the NFPA addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages:

- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.

- To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

Please see the infographic at the bottom of the page for more information about how to check the smoke alarms in your home. Remember, replacing a $12 smoke alarm in your home could save your life and the lives of the ones you love.


Make a Fire Safety Plan
fire-4.jpgIf a fire starts in your home, did you know that you may have as little as two minutes to escape? The Red Cross also offers some helpful tips about making a family plan in the event of a fire. During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.


Here’s what you can do put your fire safety plan in motion:

- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas.

- Mark your calendar to test your smoke alarms every month. [See NFSP’s tips above.]

- Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.

- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year. [An easy day to remember to practice your family plan are the longest and shortest days of the year: Mark your calendar for December 21, 2016 and June 20, 2017.]

- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside.

- Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

- Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets, or prized possessions are inside.

- Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.

- Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows.

- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

The Red Cross offers a helpful Fire Safety Checklist HERE. We recommend printing it out and sharing this information at your family’s next fire safety meeting.


fire-3.jpgFire Safety Education for Children
A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible precautions in the home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.

Tips for Preventing Your Child from Accidentally Starting a Fire:

- Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.

- Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.


Why Is Fire Safety So Important?
Early on Friday, August 12, Valle Landing in Valle Crucis was destroyed by fire. This structure housed several businesses including Valle Crucis Log Cabins, Bald Guy Brew, Valle Crucis Bakery and Café, a small engine repair shop, and a soon-to-be-opened restaurant. The upstairs had apartments that were home to seven residents, who worked in the community.  There were several injuries during the fire, one death, and our neighbors were left without their livelihoods and their homes.

We were overwhelmed with the situation and touched that so many people reached out to us to see how they could help. The Mast Store Annex, and the entire Mast Store Family, is deeply saddened by the loss of Macie Pietrowicz. During her short time as an employee, she made an impact on so many with her sweet spirit, bright smile, and unbounded joy. Mark, her husband, was seriously injured during the fire. After several surgeries, he is living near his and Macie’s parents to continue his rehabilitation and recovery.

Join Us for Valle Love on November 20th
valle-2.jpgIn honor of our friends in Valle Crucis, NC, whose lives have been affected by the devastating Valle Landing Fire, the community is hosting the “Valle Love” event on Sunday, November 20th. We’ve chosen the Sunday before Thanksgiving so that we may give thanks for our neighbors that survived the fire as well as a celebrate the memory of our friend, Macie Pietrowicz. We’re also deeply grateful for the tremendous efforts of our emergency responders, the Red Cross, and the many people in our community who’ve come together to help our neighbors in need. We hope Valle Love will give our neighbors a chance to connect and heal.

Valle Love will be hosted at the Valle Crucis Conference Center’s Apple Barn from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. We’ll have live music and outdoor games for children (weather permitting). Enjoy food in the Apple Barn or on the lawn. The cost is $8 per plate for adults and $5 for children while supplies last. The Red Cross is joining us to offer fire preparedness education and they will be giving away free smoke alarms. You can schedule an installation appointment with them as well. Fund raising for the fire victims will include a raffle and a silent auction. Macie Pietrowicz was a gifted photographer whose stunning work will be on display for purchase. Please mark your calendars and join us on Sunday, November 20th, for this special event.

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