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Fire is extremely powerful - every year, fire kills more Americans than all other natural disasters combined.  Cooking is the major cause of home fires in the U.S., and careless smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.

Residential or structure fires, as well as wildfires, are part of our everyday lives.  Residential fires are the third leading cause of accidental death in the home, and property loses across the U.S. reach into the billions of dollars annually.  Cooking, careless smoking, arson and faulty heating are often the causes of fires in the home.  In less than 30 seconds, small flames can race out of control.  And the heat and poisonous gases from fires can be more deadly than the flames. 

Union City’s weather and climate can lead to dense brush and dry hillsides. These areas are prone to bursting quickly into flames, starting deadly wildfires that are also known as brush fires. These fires can move at incredible speeds, with temperatures reaching 600 degrees and higher very quickly. One of the best ways to keep these fires a safe distance from your home is to make sure that nearby brush is cleared away, according to city regulations.

You can see why it is so important to be aware of the hazards and plan ahead in case a fire should occur.

Many fire-related deaths and damages are avoidable with a proper smoke alarms or residential sprinklers.  Check the smoke alarms in your house every few months to make sure they are still working properly.  It may help you to remember if you check your smoke alarms when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.  All homes should be equipped with properly maintained smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher that you have been trained to use.

In Union City, the Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) provides fire response and emergency medical services.  In addition, one of the most important functions of the Fire Department is fire prevention, which includes both education and enforcement programs.  Fire inspectors work with homeowners and businesses to ensure that the Union City Fire Code is followed. These programs have a proven track record in reducing the losses from fires.

In addition to providing training for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, where you can get free practical training in emergency response actions for the individual and neighborhood level, the fire department also offers Personal Preparedness Workshops and other services for the community.  You can take a tour of the fire station in your neighborhood or ride along on the apparatus for up to 8 hours!  And you can also get free, hands-on training in CPR or use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).


Additional resources from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

Smoke alarms

Fire extinguishers

Escape planning

Fire safety in manufactured homes  

Security bars

Sleepover fire safety for kids

Sleepover fire safety checklist for parents

Fire safety for holidays (Winter, Summer and Autumn)  

Arson and youth fire setting