Fire Season is upon us! If you follow us on Facebook, you see us posting these two words a lot and if you follow us on Twitter then you see it as a hashtag: #fireseason.
But what is Fire Season? Well, when we Googled “fire season” the top result was the 2012 young adult science fiction novel by American authors David Weber and Jane Lindskold, about a cat who adopts a human and patrols the forest for fires! Cool and hey, cats and fire are kinda in our realm! Consequently, for our Red Paw responders, fire season is our reality and it’s all too real! Fire season means different things in different areas; in hotter parts of the country/world, fire season is during the dry season, while for us in Southeastern PA, fire season is in the winter! And this fire season has been a doozy! As if you needed proof, in January alone, we responded 47 times and assisted 88 displaced pets!! Our volunteers have been out responding during multiple snow and ice storms, power outages, and freezing temperatures!
So, why is the SEPA region, especially Philly, hit so hard with residential fires during the winter? We get asked this question a lot! Well, there are several reasons. Especially in Philly and in most older cities, where you have a large population of people living in very close proximity to each other, most are in row homes, so when one house catches fire, the adjoining houses are also affected. You also have a larger number of older houses, which means old wiring and less electrical sockets (so more extension cords are used), old furnaces, and deteriorating construction, all which cause or are related to residential fires. Also, cities have a larger segment of the population who may not be able to afford heat, so people are trying to keep warm by using candles, space heaters, and/or ovens to keep warm! All are fire hazards!
Fire Season for us typically starts around November and with any luck will end in March. So we just have to get through another month or so! With another winter storm and frigid temps headed our way, we wanted to leave you with a few helpful tips to get you through safe and warm:
- Wear extra layers to stay warm
- Use extra blankets
- Have batteries for your flashlights
- Don’t use candles!
- Be sure you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home!
- If you have to use space heaters, make sure they are 3ft (in all directions) from combustibles
- Do not heat your home with your oven! It’s warm but often leads to carbon monoxide related deaths
- Have a carbon monoxide detector in your home!
For more info on how you and your pets can stay safe, visit the Preparedness tab up to your right!