The Norman Transcript

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014