Fire Prevention 52: Hunting for Fire Hazard "Eggs"

By Mark Gorman, National Structural Fire Operations Manager
brightly colored easter eggs
Decorated eggs are used for the White House Egg Rolling event.

Fire Safety Starts with Identifying Fire Hazards

You hear a commotion in the work space next to yours. You walk over to investigate and smell smoke. Your coworker exclaims, "I think my computer is on fire!"

What do you do? Where is the nearest fire extinguisher? Has it been inspected? Does your office have a fire alarm? Does it work? Or has someone gotten tired of the nagging trouble alarms and silenced the system? Sometimes fires can start from sources you least expect, such as the lithium-ion battery in your laptop.

Destruction of lives and property by uncontrolled fires has been around since ancient times. Despite our advanced technology, the United States has one of the highest fire death rates in the industrialized world, suffering one structure fire every 84 seconds.

So this week take 2 minutes to go on a fire hazard Easter egg hunt. See how many fire hazard "eggs" you can identify in your work area. Use the previous P52 stories to help guide you on your hunt.

Remember if you don't take action, who will?

Fire Info for You

Employees

  • The first line of defense begins with you. When you find a hazard, report it. Here are two extreme examples witnessed by an employee: The office was stacked with boxes of brochures surrounding a space heater humming in the corner. Candles were burned for atmosphere on a desk littered with enough loose papers to fill a small dumpster. Fire hazards might be this obvious, but many are not. Always be on the lookout.
  • Fire hazards exist at home also. Take this website with you. You could even make it a game with your kids.

Park Leadership

  • Ever wonder how fast a fire can grow? Check out this link to find out. In the time it took you to read this story (150 seconds), a fire could start in your office, consuming everything in the room, including you.
  • Think you have no time for fire prevention? The cost and time it will take to suppress the fire, replace the contents, and rebuild the structure or remodel the room will take a whole lot longer.

National/Regional Leadership
Did you know that the United States experiences one of the highest per capita death rates in the industrial world from structural fires? Ever wonder about the true costs of fires in the United States? Check out this link to find out.

Take Action

  1. This Easter week, take 2 minutes and see how many fire hazard "eggs" you can find in your work area. Use previous P52 stories to help guide you.
  2. Make a game out of it! Challenge your coworkers to see who can find the most.
  3. When you find fire hazards on your hunt, identify what actions you and your coworkers will take to correct or mitigate the problem.

NPS Fire Facts

Did you know that only 16% of NPS structural fires are reported? This means that we cannot successfully identify causes, trends, and solutions.