Install and Maintain Life Saving Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are time machines- they give you time to escape by giving you an earlywarning signal when fire is present. Install them inside each sleeping area, in the common hallway outside the sleeping area, and on each level of your home. Interconnect them if possibleso if one goes off – they all go ff. Test them often, (weekly) keep them clean and dust free and give them a new battery once a year (except for 10-year Lithium-Ion Batteries). A chirping noise from your detector means your battery is low, OR your smoke detectorhas reached it’s 10-year life span.
Keep Some Space Around Space Heaters
Space heaters produce temperatures that can ignite ordinary home furnishings. Keep at least 3 ft. clear space around them and never place them close to upholstered furniture, draperies or shower curtains. Buy only UL or Factory Mutual tested heaters with automatic “tip over” shut offs. Never connect a space heater to an extension cord!
Practice Your Planned Escape
The best way to survive a fire in a building is to get out fast. Plan two escape routes from each room in your home and practice the routes with family members at least twice a year. Pick a meeting place where everyone can gather outside to be certain everyone is out. Never go back inside a burning structure – Stay out and let the Firefighters do their job.
Keep Watch Over Smokers
Careless smoking is the number one cause of fire deaths in America. Never smoke in bed or when drowsy. Provide smokers with large ashtrays. Wet cigarette butts before discarding them into garbage receptacles. If you’re entertaining guests, have a designated smoking area outside so you can keep an eye on smokers and avoid accidents.
Matches and Lighters
Small children are often fascinated by matches and lighters and can mistake them for toys. Keep all lighters and matches out of reach or locked up from little ones. Adults should teach children that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys to be played with.
Stop, Drop and Roll
If your clothes catch fire, don’t run! Stop where you are, cover your face with your hands, drop to the ground and roll over to smother the flames.
Cool Water for Burns
Scalding water can burn just like fire. However, cool water helps to stop the burning of skin when it occurs. If you or someone gets burned, don’t use butter or some other home remedy. Place the burned area in cool water for 10-15 minutes and seek professional medical help if needed.
Be Safe with Electricity
Overloaded circuits are a problem that can cause home fires. Multi-plugs in wall receptacles should be avoided and extension cords should be limited to temporary use – never run them under rugs or furnishings. When multiple devices are needed, use a surge-protected device. Replace any cord or plug that has cracks or visible damage. On older Fuse-type panels, use only proper size fuses.
Taking Care in the Kitchen
Kitchen fires are the most frequent type of fire that firefighters find. The number one reason for these fires is unattended cooking. Keep lids for pots handy and the handles on the stove turned inwards. If grease catches fire, place a lid over the pan and turn off the heat. Never wear loose fitting clothes or big sleeves when cooking and keep all metals out of microwave ovens.
Stay Low and Go!
You’ve heard that smoke will get you before the fire? Smoke is the culprit that claims more lives than the fire that produces it. Try to avoid getting out through the smoke, but if you have no choice, get down and crawl as low as you can to find the best remaining air as you escape. Smoke is usually lighter than air so will be higher in the room near the ceiling.