The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that unattended cooking was the cause of the last week’s fatal house fire in Sterling.
In addition to the death of one resident and severe burns suffered by another, investigators estimated damage to the Giles Place townhouse at $144,000.
Also, investigators found there were no working smoke alarms in the home.
Loudoun County fire-rescue issued the following tips to prevent these fires and protect your family if a fire does occur:
· Stay in the kitchen while cooking, especially on the stovetop. If you leave the kitchen, even briefly, turn off the stove. If baking, roasting, or broiling, set timers to remind you food is cooking.
· Have working smoke alarms. Smoke Alarms provide an early warning giving you more time to safely escape. Install smoke alarms on every level, outside the door of any sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Test alarms monthly, change the battery, and replace after 10 years. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue has a free smoke alarm program, to learn more visitwww.loudoun.gov/smokealarms for more information.
· Close Before You Doze. Closing your bedroom door before going to sleep can help slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Homes have more open layouts, and lightweight construction materials which allow fires to spread much quicker affecting the time a family has to escape.
· Have a home escape plan. A family has as little as 2-3 minutes to escape should a fire occur. Discuss with your family a home escape plan that includes two ways out of each room and an outside meeting place.