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Only You Can Prevent Wildfires

Posted on: February 6th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Our great state of California is the home to about 33 million acres of public and private forest area.  Wildfires can start up here just like the fires in states like Washington.  Wildfires don’t only destroy our forests, but they also can kill the animals that live there and they can affect your health.  Today, LA Medical would like to educate you on how to stay safe and prevent forest fires from starting.

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Wildfires release smoke and other mixtures of fine particles and gases that go into the air. Smoke from wildfires can affect your eyes, your breathing and can cause chronic heart or lung disease. Smoke can cause you to cough, have shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches and asthma complications.  Even if the reported wildfire is miles away, smoke and other particles still travel in the air and you still will need to protect yourself.

The most common human-caused igniter of wildfires is campfires.  You may think having rocks surrounding the fire will be fine, but that doesn’t mean embers from the fire can’t travel by air and start somewhere else. Here are some ideas to plan, build and maintain, and take out your campfire:

  • Do not build a fire in dry conditions
  • If you’re staying at a campground, see if they have existing fire pits or rings
  • Make sure fire is at least 15 feet away from flammable objects and watch out for branches above
  • If you’re setting up a new fire site, make sure to dig a hole at least a foot deep
  • Circle the pit with rocks or a steel wheel
  • Keep a bucket of water or dirt nearby
  • Allow contents to burn to ash before extinguishing the fire with water
  • Stir contents around until no embers are noticeable 

“Only you can prevent forest fires,” was said by the iconic childhood mascot Smokey the Bear.  Being around and just turning 69 years old, Smokey is still promoting how to prevent forest fires.  In 2011, more than 8.7 million acres burned due to wildfires in the United States and more than 5.4 million acres were burned due to human-caused wildfires, said by Smokey Bear himself.

LA Medical wants you to be safe while having a peaceful night outside by the fire. Take a look at our online catalog for a full list of home medical products we offer!

How to Avoid a Fire in your Home

Posted on: February 4th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Recently, California has seen an increase in forest fires due to drought.  Even in colder weather, fires can still ignite and spread creating havoc for firefighters and home owners.  At LA Medical, we care about your health and independence and hope that either of those is not comprised due to a house fire.  Today, we’ll talk about how you can avoid a fire in your home and keep your safety intact.

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According to the United States Fire Administration, you’re most likely to get hurt or die in a fire between December and March, when temperatures drop and Christmas trees go up.  Be aware of these common house fire igniters:

  • Space heaters – These great electronic devices help heat a space when your furnace may not reach a certain area of your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, just over 80 percent of heating-related fire deaths in the home involve space heaters.  Take note to have the space heater in the open and at least three feet away from furniture, clothing or even garbage.  Regardless if your heater has a thermostat, make sure to shut it off before you go to bed; because that would be a rude awakening.
  • Christmas Trees – Some people keep their Christmas trees and other holiday decorations up until winter is over.  Real Christmas trees can be a large fire hazard with or without gifts underneath.  Dried out pine needles can ignite and spread like wildfire, no pun intended.  Water it often, keep it away from heat vents and keep it away from doors or windows.
  • Candles – Candles help make your home smell great and add a decorative touch.  Fires started from candles kill 166 people a year, especially around the holiday season. Never, ever leave a candle unattended or near a combustible object, according to the USFA.  If you enjoy the smell, consider getting a safer-to-use candle warmer you plug in and reduce igniting a fire altogether. 

Stay safe around any wildfires and make sure to listen or do anything your local fire department asks you to do.  LA Medical is here to help you or a loved one get new home medical equipment; see us today.