Lessons Learned: “This is Us” Don’t Let It Be You

Lessons Learned: “This is Us” Don’t Let It Be You

If you were one of the almost 13 million people who tuned in to watch NBC’s hit show “This is Us” about the Pearson family, then you already know about the two dangers featured in this much-anticipated episode. Spoiler alert! Go watch the episode if you have not watched it yet. And then come back to learn more about keeping your home and family safe.

On last Tuesday night’s episode, we received a few more clues about just how Jack Pearson (played by Milo Ventimiglia) dies. From a previous episode, we know that the family’s smoke detector hangs helplessly in the ceiling without a battery. On Tuesday’s show, we saw just how the fire got started: a very old faulty slow cooker.

When watching this episode, it’s easy to see how quickly a dish towel and curtains can catch fire and engulf a house in flames. Before you run and throw out your slow cooker, the Crock-Pot company issued a statement assuring its product’s safety:

“… it is important that our consumers understand and have confidence that all Crock-Pot slow cookers exceed all internal testing protocols and all applicable industry safety standards and regulations as verified by independent third-party testing labs. For nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in this episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment was the leading cause of home structure fires and injuries and the second leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States.

It is important to note that you should always use kitchen appliances according to the manufacturer’s directions. Appliances should be in good working condition and should not be used if cords are worn or cracked. Appliances should be used on a heatproof, flat surface. Following the proper use of appliances is one way to prevent home fires.

Smoke detectors play an integral part in early warning of a fire. According to the NFPA:

    • Fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
    • Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional escape time. Between 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
    • The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms.

These statistics serve as a sober reminder about the importance of not only having smoke detectors in your home, but regularly testing them to make sure they are connected and operating properly.

The Pearson family may not exist in real life, but the lessons learned from this episode do. While we are heartbroken that Jack dies, we don’t yet know if it is in fact due to the result of a fire. We do hope that all of this focus on home fires, small kitchen appliances and smoke detectors will help save lives.

Now go turn off your television and test your smoke detector.

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