Have you ever seen the result of a preventable fire and asked yourself, “Why?”
Fire is the second most frequent cause of death in the home and the vast majority of these incidents are preventable if you take the right steps. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2014 there were approximately 1,298,000 fires (up 4.7%) reported across the country and approximately 360,000 of those were residential. These fires resulted in 3,275 civilian fatalities, 15,775 civilian injuries and over $11.5 billion in property loss. Most of these fatalities could be easily prevented with a few simple precautions such as working smoke detectors, a well-rehearsed escape plan, and basic steps to limit hazardous conditions in the home.
In an effort to help our residents make their homes a safer place, Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department (HCESD 48) has established a free Home Safety Survey program which was started in March of 2016. After conducting over 50 surveys over the last six months, HCESD 48 officially announced a full roll-out of the program on September 1st, 2016.
“The statistics we have gathered tells us that the vast majority of fires in the home are avoidable,” says Jeff Hevey, HCESD 48 Fire Chief, “We hope our residents will take advantage of this program and play a part in making Katy a safer place to live and work.”
During the Home Safety Survey, HCESD 48 Personnel conduct a 45-point survey that covers a variety of items including; fire safety, trip/fall hazards, child safety, fire extinguishers, smoke and CO alarms, emergency planning and more. Recommendations generated by the survey are generally easy to correct and doing so could prevent a tragic loss.
No fees or fines are assessed for hazardous conditions that may be found. Once the survey is complete, the resident is given the list of recommendations on how to make their home safer and if they have any further questions our team is always available to follow up with them in the future.
“The program has been very popular with young families and older adults but all homeowners are encouraged to schedule a survey of their home,” said Lt. Shelby Johnson. She continued, “It’s been amazing to see how many homeowners have scheduled a survey because of a friend or neighbor’s recommendation.”
To schedule a Home Safety Survey, or if you have any further questions, please call Lt. Shelby Johnson (832) 849-5584 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those who live in Katy but are not sure whether they live within HCESD 48’s service area, we have an interactive district map posted on our website (http://www.hcesd48.org/map).