10 Tips for Fire Safety
|INSTALL AND MAINTAIN SMOKE DETECTORS
Smoke detectors warn you of fire in time to let you escape. Install them on each level of your home and outside of each sleeping area. Follow the manufacturer's directions, and test once a week. Replace batteries twice a year, or when the detector chirps to signal that the battery is dead. Don't ever take the battery out for other uses!
PLAN AND PRACTICE YOUR ESCAPE
If fire breaks out in your home, you must get out fast. With your family, plan two ways out of every room. Fire escape routes must not include elevators, which might take you right to the fire! Choose a meeting place outside where everyone should gather. Once you are out, stay out! Have the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year.
SPACE HEATERS NEED SPACE
Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet (1 meter) from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding, or anything else that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed, and keep children and pets well away from them.
SMOKING NEEDS WATCHING
Carelessly discarded cigarettes cause tens of thousands of home fires every year. Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy! Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers, and put water on the butts before discarding them. Before going to bed, check under and around sofa cushions for smoldering cigarettes.
BE CAREFUL COOKING
Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles, and don't leave cooking unattended. Keep your pot's handles turned inward so children won't knock or pull them over the edge of the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, and then turn off the burner. Read Kitchen Safety Tips
A MATCH IS A TOOL FOR ADULTS
In the hands of a child, matches or lighters are extremely dangerous. Store them up high where kids can't reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. And teach your children from the start that matches and lighters and lighters are tools for adults, not toys for kids. If children find matches, they should tell an adult immediately.
USE ELECTRICITY SAFELY
If an appliance smokes or begins to smell unusual, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Check all your electrical cords, and replace any that are cracked or frayed. If you use extension cords, replace any that are cracked or frayed; and don't overload them or run them under rugs. Remember that fuses and circuit breakers protect you from fire: don't tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of an improper size.
COOL A BURN
If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain. Do not use butter on a burn, as this could prolong the heat and further damage the skin. If burn blisters or chars, wrap the wound in a loose sterile bandage with gauze and see a doctor immediately.
STOP, DROP, AND ROLL
Everyone should know this rule: if your clothes catch fire, don't run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames. Cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs.
CRAWL LOW UNDER SMOKE
If you encounter smoke using your primary exit, use your alternate route instead. If you must exit through smoke, clean air will be several inches off the floor. Get down on your hands and knees, and crawl to the nearest safe exit.
By planning ahead and with regular home safety inspections, you can do a lot to prevent a fire. But once a fire starts in your home, there are only two things to do: