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General Fire Safety and Protection Tips

Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not need to be correct. Make sure the plan shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes. Here is a document that will help you create a home inventory.

Test windows and doors – do they open easy enough? Are they wide enough? Or tall enough?

Choose a safe meeting place outside the house.

Practice alerting other members. It is a good idea to keep a bell and flashlight in each bedroom.

Conduct a Family Meeting.

Conduct a family meeting and discuss the following topics:

  • Always sleep with the bedroom doors closed. This will keep deadly heat and smoke out of bedrooms, giving you additional time to escape.
  • Find a way for everyone to sound a family alarm. Yelling, pounding on walls, whistles, etc. Practice yelling “FIRE!”
  • In a fire, time is critical. Don’t waste time getting dressed, don’t search for pets or valuables. Just get out!
  • Roll out of bed. Stay low. One breath of smoke or gases may be enough to kill.
  • Be Prepared – Plan Ahead

Practice evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire most likely will make it difficult to see.

Practice staying low to the ground when escaping.

Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is hot, get out another way.

Learn to stop, drop to the ground, roll if clothes catch fire.

Additional Fire Safety Tips

Install smoke detectors
Check smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a structure. Purchase smoke detectors labeled by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).

Post emergency numbers near telephones.
Be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place the call to emergency services from inside the home. It is better to get out and place the call to fire authorities from a safe location outside the home.

After a fire emergency
Give first aid where appropriate. Seriously injured victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately. Stay out of the damaged building. Return only when fire authorities say it is safe.

Make sure you have a safe fire escape method for all situations
You may have installed a very expensive home security system. But if you cannot escape the burning structure, you have a false level of confidence.

Space Heaters Need Space
Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from them.

Smokers Need To Be Extra Careful
Never smoke in bed or when you are sleepy. Carelessly discarded cigarettes are a leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.

Be Careful Cooking
Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of your pots turned inward so they do not over-hang the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off the burner.

Matches and Lighters are Dangerous
In the hands of a child, matches and lighters can be deadly! Store them where children can’t reach them, preferably in a locked area. Teach children that matches and lighters are “tools” and should only be used by adults.

Use Electricity Safely
If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use the improper size fuse.

Cool a Burn
If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound under cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately!

Be Careful of Halogen Lights
If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas. Never leave them on when you leave your home or office.

Fire Prevention Tips

Prevent Fires Caused by Cooking

Always stay in the kitchen while cooking.
Keep things that can burn, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from the range top.
Before cooking, roll up sleeves and use oven mitts. Loose-fitting clothes can touch a hot burner and catch on fire.
Never leave barbecue grills unattended while in use.
·Keep grills at least three feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.

Prevent Fires Caused by Heating

 Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet.
 Keep space heaters at least three feet away from things that can burn, such as curtains or stacks of newspaper. Always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
 Have a service person inspect chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves and central furnaces once a year. Have them cleaned when necessary.
 Keep things that can burn away from your fireplace and keep a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace.

Prevent Fires Caused by Smoking

 Use “fire-safe” cigarettes and smoke outside.

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