Fire Prevention/Safety Tips

EMERGENCY / 911 - Everyone in your family should know to dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Remember to dial a prefix number when dialing out to 911 when in locations where this is necessary. Example:  9 - 911.

ADDRESS LOCATED IN CASE OF EMERGENCY - Be sure that your house numbers can be seen from the street by emergency responders.

SMOKE DETECTORS - Working Smoke Detectors can alert you to a fire in time for you to escape, even if you are sleeping. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement, and outside each sleeping area. If you sleep with the door closed, install one inside your sleeping area as well. Test detectors every month, following the manufacturer's directions, and replace batteries once a year, or whenever a detector "chirps" to signal low battery power. Never "borrow" a smoke detector's battery for another use - a disabled detector can't save your life. Replace detectors that are more than 10 years old.

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS - Read instructions and be sure you know how to use your fire extinguisher. You won't have time to read instructions in an emergency situation. Also, test periodically to be sure they are in working order.

FLASHLIGHTS AND BATTERIES - Always have flashlights and batteries available in case of an emergency. Check periodically to be sure that the batteries and bulbs are still good.

PLAN AND PRACTICE ESCAPE - IF A FIRE BREAKS OUT in your home, you have to get out fast. Prepare for a fire emergency by discussing this possibility with your family and agreeing on an escape plan. Be sure that everyone knows at least two unobstructed exits - doors and windows - from every room. (Remember, do not include elevators in your escape plan.) Decide on a meeting place outside where everyone will meet after they escape. Have your entire household practice your escape plan at least twice a year.

TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE MATERIALS - Keep toxic and flammable materials out of the reach of children. Never store them in areas where they might become combustible. Never keep toxic material in unlabeled containers where they might be misused or discarded incorrectly. Be sure that gasoline is kept in an approved safety container, preferably stored in a locked garage or storage shed.

WATCH SMOKERS - Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in North America. Smoking in bed or when you are drowsy can be deadly. Provide smokers with large, deep non-tip ashtrays and soak butts with water before discarding them. Before going to bed or leaving home after someone has been smoking, check under and around cushions and upholstered furniture for smoldering cigarettes.

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING - Practice good housekeeping habits in keeping work areas, the garage and heater closets free of potential fire hazards. The lint collector on a clothes dryer should be inspected and cleaned before each use. Kitchen vent-a-hoods should be clean and properly maintained. Each room in the home should have two clear exits.

BE CAUTIOUS WHEN COOKING - Never leave cooking unattended. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear clothes with short, rolled-up or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Turn pot handles inward on the stove where you can't bump them and children can't grab them. Enforce a "Kid-Free Zone" three feet (one meter) around your kitchen stove. If grease catches fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the heat. Leave the lid on until cool.

GIVE SPACE HEATERS SPACE - Keep portable heaters and space heaters at least three feet (one meter) away from anything that can burn. Keep children and pets away from heaters, and never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed.

CANDLES, LIGHTERS AND MATCHES CAN BE DEADLY - In a child's hand, matches and lighters can be deadly. Use only child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters up high, where small children can't see or reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. Teach your children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys, and should be used only by adults or with adult supervision. Teach young children to tell a grown-up if they find matches or lighters; older children should bring matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Candles are lovely to see and smell. Never leave a candle unattended.

FIREPLACES - Be sure that you equip your fireplace with a proper screen and dispose of fireplace ashes properly. Never leave an active fireplace unattended.

COOL A BURN - Run cool water over a burn for 10 to 15 minutes. Never put butter or any grease on a burn. If the burned skin blisters or is charred, see a doctor immediately. Never use ice.

USE ELECTRICITY SAFELY - If an electrical appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately, then have it serviced before using it again. Replace any electrical cord that is cracked or frayed. Don't overload extension cords or run them under rugs. Don't tamper with your fuse box or use improperly sized fuses.

STAY LOW UNDER SMOKE - During a fire, smoke and poisonous gases rise with the heat. The air is cleaner near the floor. Stay low or crawl under smoke. If you encounter smoke while you are escaping from a fire, use an alternate escape route.

STOP, DROP AND ROLL - If your clothes catch fire, don't run. Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over to smother the flames.

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