The Norman Transcript

Editorials

October 9, 2013

Americans need to be prepared in case of fires

NORMAN — The Great Chicago Fire broke out Oct. 8, 1871, killing more than 250 people and left 100,000 homeless. The anniversary of the disaster has been remembered for nearly a century with efforts to spread the word about fire dangers — Fire Prevention Week, it now is called.

Still, too many Americans are unprepared.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they have a home fire escape plan, according to the National Fire Protection Association, but only a quarter has actually practiced it.

Two years ago, home fires injured someone every half-hour, according to the association. Eight people died in fires every day.

Times have changed in the 142 years since the apocryphal story of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow tipping over a lamp in Chicago: The leading cause of fires and fire-related injuries today is cooking, though smoking materials are blamed for a quarter of the fire-related deaths.

Experts say properly installed smoke alarms are vital to reducing those injuries and deaths. But while 96 percent of U.S. households claim to have at least one smoke alarm, firefighters report not finding one in 60 percent of the homes that burn.

All of us should remember this week’s grim anniversary by making sure our home has a working smoke alarm, and just as importantly, having a plan for what to do when they sounds.

— Kokomo, Ind., Tribune

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014