October 6th through 12th marks this year’s Fire Prevention Week! Since 1917, Fire Prevention Week has been a time to draw attention to potential fire hazards and fire prevention tools. This year’s theme focuses on a very important safety topic: “Prevent Kitchen Fires”. The kitchen is the only place in the home that we use open flame and direct heat. It is important that we take the proper precautions to ensure our kitchen, cooking equipment, and food preparation practices do not lead to a potential fire hazard.
Here are five simple ways to protect your home and family from kitchen fires:
- Take care of your cooking equipment. Oil residue and leftover crumbs can present a potential fire hazard. Make sure that all electrical appliances are properly cared and maintenance as needed. Wipe up oil spills on your stove; grease build up is flammable.
- Install a smoke detector near the kitchen and check it monthly.
- Pull back your hair and roll up your sleeves while cooking. This may seem like an unimportant step to cooking, but properly preparing to be around heat or open flames is crucial!
- Never leave cooking unattended. Turn off the heat source and remove pans from burners if you need to leave the house or are distracted. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of kitchen fires.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet from the stove at all times. Make sure to turn pot handles in toward the stove.
For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit http://www.firepreventionweek.org.
It’s been a busy week here at Kennedy!
On Thursday, July 11th, Kennedy Restoration participated in the Portland Multifamily Golf Tournament, hosted by Multifamily NW. In addition to sponsoring a team of four, Kennedy sponsored hole #8. Proceeds from this event benefited local nonprofit groups working with at-risk youth, the elderly, people with disabilities and low income families. It was a beautiful, summer day and we were glad to get out in the sun and play some golf for a good cause!
The fun doesn’t stop there!
On Tuesday, July 16th, Kennedy also sponsored the Fire and Life Safety Training put on by Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. This day long class informs landlords on crucial safety information to reduce the number of accidental fires. In addition to excellent information, TVF&R also performed several safety demonstrations for those attending the class.
At Kennedy Restoration, we are happy to be a part of keeping our community safe!
The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful and ever-changing landscape. This change is greatly influenced by various natural causes including wildfires. While the recent heat has allowed us here in Portland to enjoy some lovely summer activities, it increases the chances of these wildfires occurring and causing damage to property. Here are some basic steps to avoid causing wildfires and protecting your home from potential damage.
- Obey all outdoor burning laws for your area. These are set in place to protect you and those around you.
- Be mindful when disposing of combustible materials.
- Protect your home by reducing the amount of flammable materials such as extensive foliage and fuel sources around your property.
- When building your home or structures, make sure to use fire resistant building materials. Treat existing wood to reduce the chance of a fire taking hold. Maintain roofing by reapplying flame resistant materials every few years.
- Develop a fire emergency plan with family and neighbors to keep everyone safe should a fire occur.
We hope you are enjoying your summer so far, stay safe out there!
Happy 4th of July from all of us here at Kennedy Restoration! For your entertainment, here are some true, firework related stories and some preventative tips to keep them from happening to you. Have a relaxing, safe holiday!
“I got a hold of some homemade, baseball size bombs and the neighbor talked me into setting one off. The explosion blew out two of my week old, Milguard windows in the living room and made a pretty good dent in the yard. I had to fill the hole in the yard using a wheel barrow. My better half came home and was none too pleased with the damage. 10 years later and we are still picking glass out of the carpet!”
Lesson learned: Homemade explosives are very dangerous and should not be used. There’s no way to know how powerful they will be or what damage they could potentially cause. Stick to the legal, safe fireworks carried at reputable vendors to stay out of trouble with you better half.
“My wife is from Arizona – and due to the dryness and extreme fire hazard, pretty much ALL fireworks are banned there. When she moved up here, she was VERY leery of me setting off fireworks with the kids. Being the pyro that I am at heart, I told her everything would be fine, and proceeded to start the show in the driveway. The first thing I lit was supposed to go straight up and emit fire and sparks and make a little whistling sound. Instead, the device shot up and over at a 45 degree angle and landed on the roof of our brand new house, where it basically sat as a fire belching torch and tried it’s best to set the roof on fire. She made me pour water on the house for an hour.”
Lesson learned: To avoid terrifying your wife or husband; light off your fireworks far away from property and combustible landscaping. Make sure you know the direction and trajectory of the explosive you are about to light off and be aware of your surroundings.
“A couple of years back, I was standing next to a guy who was not the best at lighting off mortars. He placed it in the tube upside down and thus exploded in the tube! As if that wasn’t bad enough there were other fireworks on the ground near it that were set off by the explosion. It is the closest I ever hope to get to actual bombs.”
Lesson learned: Mortars are directional! To properly light a mortar, unwind the fuse at the top and lower the flat end of the shell into the tube. Never stand over or look into the tube to make sure it is properly lit. Empty the tube after the explosion; never drop another shell in on top of the previous one.
“4 years ago on 4th of July we were up in Corbett for the parade, fun, fest and fireworks. My uncle had made a homemade bomb. While he was digging the hole to put it in, the rest of us were taking cover. He kept telling us we weren’t back far enough, so we moved further back. My motherly instinct took over and I felt the need to make sure everyone was a safe distance away. He lit the bomb and it went off with a loud bang. I felt something hit me and all of a sudden my arm was burning. I looked down and sure enough shrapnel hit me and it instantly bubbled and blistered my arm and was bleeding pretty bad. The closest house we were near didn’t have ice but had otter pops. So the crafty guys I was with wrapped my arm in otter pops held together with a ponytail holder. Instantly I had an ice pack and bandage. I found the piece that hit me and to this day I still have it and the scar it left! Not to mention it was a week before my wedding! Good times…good times!”
Lesson Learned – Homemade fireworks of any kind should be avoided, especially ones from your uncle. Make sure to have your first aid supplies and burn kit ready should anything go wrong. For first and second degree burns (which are the most common) run the affected area under cool water. Do not apply ice (or otter pops) as this can cause further damage to the skin. Wrap the skin loosely in non-adhesive, breathable materials and watch for signs of infection. If the burn is more severe than 1st or 2nd degree, seek medical attention.
“My family and I attended an Independence Day celebration with some other family members at a beach along the Columbia River in Southwest Washington. We had several fireworks that we had purchased on the way; among these were various mortars, rockets, etc. (you know; all the good stuff). After the sun set it was time to light off the fireworks. I decided I would do this close to the water’s edge. All of the fireworks were neatly placed in a tight group approximately 10 yards from the selected “launching point”. After lighting a few mortars off, I decided to try a couple of the rockets. The first one went off giving us a beautiful aerial display of showering sparks and magnificent color over the water. I went to light the second one and accidentally bumped it as I was moving away. As the fuse reached the end, the rocket tipped over and headed straight for the other fireworks. You can probably guess what happened next; all of our fireworks were going off at once. Some were going up in the air and some were shooting across the beach no more than a few feet off the sand. People were jumping into the river and scattering in all directions. It was absolute chaos. As the barrage ended, we determined that, luckily, no one was injured, save a couple very minor burns. However, a couple of beach chairs that were being sat in at the time the incident occurred did not fare so well.”
Lesson learned: Set off fireworks far away from other fireworks that are waiting to be set off. If possible store the unlit fireworks in a protective receptacle or behind some sort of barrier. Be mindful of your surroundings!
“Living in Washington, we get all the good fireworks! We were setting them off and doing the responsible thing by putting them in a plastic garbage can and then spraying them down. After a full night of festivities, the garbage can was full of spent fireworks and we moved the can into the garage. Some of the fireworks must not have been sprayed down completely and the can caught on fire in the night, melting it completely! While we were lucky that nothing else caught fire, the toxic fumes from the plastic permeated everything in the garage and needed to be replaced!”
Lesson learned: Don’t use a plastic container to hold discarded fireworks as any amount of heat could potentially melt the plastic. Make sure that fireworks are properly extinguished at the end of the festivities to avoid smoldering and potential fire damage.
The 4th of July is fast approaching and with this holiday always comes some spectacular firework displays. While you may be aware of how to light off your celebratory demonstrations in a safe and responsible manor, don’t always count on your neighbors to behave as sensibly.
A common accident we encounter during the summer months is roof damage. A stray ember can easily catch and become a full blown fire, causing extensive damage on cedar shake roofs. While these shingles are often treated to prevent such accidents, years spent out in the elements can erode this protective material leaving them vulnerable to fire hazards.
In order to prevent this accident from occurring, we suggest thoroughly spraying down your roof in the afternoon, prior to when you anticipate the festivities. The shingles will get very slick so we recommend you use a step ladder, as opposed to walking directly on the roof. Keep the hose handy when you are finished to extinguish any embers or stray fireworks that might make their way onto your roof or property.
Have a fun and exciting 4th of July, just remember to stay safe!
The 4th of July is almost here! While some of you might have already started stocking up on your barbecue supplies, for others the 4th is all about the fireworks! Fireworks can be a blast, just make sure you follow some basic safety instructions to avoid accidents and injuries.
1. Be aware of your surroundings! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the holiday and begin setting off your fireworks before going through some safety checks. Make sure that you are not setting fireworks off near flammable shrubbery or trees. A small spark can start something much bigger under these dry conditions. Check that you are a safe distance from your home and vehicles to avoid expensive damage. Keep your packaged fireworks away from the area you are setting them off in case a misfire should occur. Lastly, make sure that spectators of your fabulous firework display are a safe distance from all explosions.
2. Be prepared! While we never intend for things to go wrong, accidents do happen. Make sure that you are prepared for any potential mishap so that you may address it quickly. Always be close to a water source and have a fire extinguisher handy just in case.
3. Take care of your pets! This can be a very scary time for our furry friends. Pets should be indoors and in a space they feel safest, like a dog’s crate. Playing music or the television can help to drown out the sounds of the explosions and can help to distract your buddy. An anxious dog can be destructive so make sure to take proper steps to avoid nervousness.
4. Have a first aid kit at the ready! Burns can be very dangerous and painful; make sure you have the proper medical supplies and knowledge to care for them. Do not place ice on a fresh burn, keep it clean, and wrap it loosely in gauze to heal a burn quickly.
5. Properly extinguish all fireworks! Though a firework may appear to be done with its display there still might be parts that are hot or smoldering. Have a bucket of water handy and place all finished fireworks in it when they are spent.
Have a fun and safe week!
Kennedy Restoration is proud to announce that we have received the Safer Communities Award from the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue organization. Kennedy was presented this award for our continued commitment to public safety. We are honored that TVF&R has recognized us for our efforts and we thank them for acknowledging us with this award. The following excerpt was taken from the Portland Tribune:
“This year’s Safer Communities Award was presented to Kennedy Restoration for their commitment to public safety through financial support of TVF&R’s Landlord Training Workshops. These workshops are pivotal in helping landlords understand fire behavior, common fire causes and reduction of hazards, as well as the fire inspection process. These workshops also provide landlords with free educational materials that they can use to help educate tenant about smoke alarms and home fire escape planning.”
Again, we thank Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue for this award and look forward to continued service in our community.