It pays to be careful, especially concerning fire and your home. You don’t have to go very far to find someone effected by the danger fire poses. The Red Cross states “65 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.” Fortunately, there is a lot of information we now know on how to combat the danger an out of control fire has. Check out these “Quick Tips” on Fire Safety!
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
- Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside in case of fire.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Use Caution with Fire Extinguishers
- Use a portable fire extinguisher ONLY if you have been trained by the fire department and in the following conditions
- The fire is confined to a small area, and is not growing.
- The room is not filled with smoke.
- Everyone has exited the building.
- The fire department has been called.
Remember the word PASS when using a fire extinguisher:
P – Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
A – Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
- Have injuries treated by a medical professional. Wash small wounds with soap and water. To help prevent infection of small wounds, use bandages and replace them if they become soiled, damaged or waterlogged.
- Remain calm. Pace yourself. You may find yourself in the position of taking charge of other people. Listen carefully to what people are telling you, and deal patiently with urgent situations first.
- Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter.
- Anyone entering your damaged home should wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, closed-toed rubber-soled shoes or boots and work gloves, plus dust masks, safety goggles and/or a hard hat when necessary.