How to reduce the chances of a house fire

The most important thing you can do is to check your fire detectors once a month

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A tragedy Sunday morning in Springfield’s Forest Park neighborhood. 49 year-old Thoa Vu died in a house fire on Converse Street and forced 13 others out of the home. The fire began as an electrical fire in the 3rd floor bathroom.

The Pioneer Valley Red Cross Disaster Relief Team is helping the 13 people made homeless by the fire. They’ve been given money for food and clothing and a temporary place to stay.

22News is working for you with ways to avoid danger by preventing a fire in your own home.

In the right conditions, a fire can double in size every minute and burn a home quickly and there are many situations you can find yourself in that causes these fires. The number one cause of house fires is having an unattended flame in your home, and that can mean having a candle in the other room, or having something too close to the fire when you’re cooking.

Nancy McGuill of Springfield told 22News she wouldn’t put herself at that kind of risk, “I just wouldn’t do it. I think this is just the way that I was brought up. You don’t do it. There’s things you do and things you don’t do, and that’s a don’t do.”

Another thing not to do is overloading your power strips with too many electronics that could short circuit. However, some people admit that with so much technology, it’s hard to avoid.

“That, we’re not too good about. We probably overload a few circuits but, hey, a lot of electronics, you know,” said Barry Leavitti of Springfield.

Those electronics should have their own plug, or not be too crowded on a power strip.

Springfield Fire Department spokesman Dennis Leger says the most important thing you can do is to check your fire detectors once a month, since it’s the sound that could save your life.

Virginia Accardo of Hampden told 22News, “Well I have a lot of fire alarms in my home. And well, you escape. Open the door and get out.”

Escape away from the fire, and close the doors before you decide to exit through a window.

It’s important to monitor the maintenance of your home and practice good house keeping to avoid any of these potentially dangerous situations.

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